“Add me on LinkedIn!” is something you probably heard during a conversation. With its 562 million users, LinkedIn is arguably the best digital networking tool for professionals at your disposal. If you have been looking for a job for a while now, and listening to people telling you how to get back on track or maybe you are just curious to know what is out there and if another company might be a good fit for you, LinkedIn is the perfect resource. While it might be tempting to treat it like any social media platform, there are a different set of rules you should play by if you want to be successful. Here are a few tips to optimize your LinkedIn experience.
Add people in your line of work.
Whether that person works for a company you want to join or is a recruiter in your market of interest, you need to target people that will help you get to know the company better, or those that can help you get your foot in the door. .
Don’t add random people.
Reaching the infamous 500+ connections is a great goal, but you should not add people that you have no connection with just for the sake of beefing up your contact list. It is a waste of everybody’s time. Your list should be a reflection of the kind of professional that you are or the career you are interested in. Think Quality over Quantity.
Add people with similar interests or with projects that are appealing for you.
Ask yourself this question,” If I were to meet this person in real life would I keep his/her business card?” Add people with the same Alma Mater, or the same school. There is a sense of camaraderie between alumni that will help your network grow stronger. Here are some other commonalities you should look for when making connections on LinkedIn:
- Licenses & Certifications
- Volunteer Experience
- Skills & Endorsements
- Recommendations Received or Given
- Work Experience
- 1st Connections
Don’t treat LinkedIn like your Facebook or a dating app.
Your network should represent who you are as a professional and not be treated like any other social media platform. It takes time to build a respectable e-reputation and it takes only Messaging someone for purposes other than business might be considered annoying or even viewed as harassment in some cases. Keep all comments professional. It helps to think of LinkedIn like an online workplace. If you wouldn’t say it to someone in the office, don’t say it on LinkedIn.
There is an element of professionalism that comes along with the use of LinkedIn. You cannot be as casual on LinkedIn that you are anywhere else on the internet. In the end your LinkedIn profile is a mirror of the professional that you are or hope to be and should reflect your goals and interest in the workforce.
Need help getting ahead of other candidates? We listed a series of tips to help you catch the recruiter's eye. Do not wait for somebody else to be picked. Get an employer's attention by using these 6 LinkedIn Profile Boosters!