LinkedIn is an essential tool in the business world, one that many of us think about and use daily, depending on our industry.
Despite LinkedIn’s powerful network and influence, what’s one common trend? People often neglect their LinkedIn presence until they are actively looking for a job. As a best practice, we recommend using the platform to engage and network consistently. It may be surprising to some that less than 40% of LinkedIn’s traffic is related to job seeking – it’s mostly business professionals connecting with each other. So, why not build your network and presence now so that when it comes time to find your next opportunity, you have a network of people already engaged and ready to help?
So, what’s the first step? You need to make sure your profile is up to date. Your profile reflects both your personal brand and your professional brand, so you want to be sure you are presenting a cohesive, authentic, and polished representation of yourself.
Here are a few basic items to consider:
- Do you have a professional profile picture and relevant banner image or graphic?
- Is your education and experience up to date? Are you affiliated with your company and educational institutions?
- Does your “about” section give an accurate reflection of your current role? This is your chance to tell page visitors who you are and how you stand out in your role, field, or industry.
Bonus tip: is your unique URL as simple as it can be? You can remove the numbers at the end by editing your “Profile URL” under your contact information. This makes your page easy to share!
Once your profile is set up, it is equally important to consider your strategy around connecting with others and engaging within the platform. The best way to stay relevant is to stay engaged. To do that, we’d recommend:
- Connect with others – think of former and current colleagues, neighbors, classmates, people you’ve networked with, prospects, etc. that you can add to your network. You can even use LinkedIn’s tools to connect your address book with your account to find suggestions based on your contact list.
- Make sure you are interacting with content your network is sharing – like, comment, and share things that are relevant to you and your industry. If your company and your colleagues are pushing out content, consider sharing to your page to help build the overall brand. If you’re sharing, take it a step further and think about adding your own thoughts or insights when posting from your page.
- Follow relevant pages and accounts – there are so many thought leaders, businesses, and groups that you can follow on LinkedIn to stay informed and to interact with. You never know who might be running those pages and how you may benefit from a positive connection with them, even if it’s virtual!
- Share your own content – what are you doing that your network may find interesting? What events are you attending? What professional development courses are you completing that you can share findings from? Add value where you can and position yourself as a subject matter expert.
Bonus tip: you may know that on LinkedIn you can give and receive endorsements for skills, but did you know that you can also give & receive recommendations on LinkedIn? These are more like testimonials, where your connections can publicly share their specific experience(s) about you. These will live on your page so others can see your reputation first-hand. By giving recommendations, you may encourage others to give you one in return. You can also request recommendations from specific contacts.
Once your profile is set up and you’re engaging with content and people, you are already one step ahead of most LinkedIn users. Maintaining a consistent presence is helpful for staying relevant. Then, whenever it comes time to find your next opportunity, you are already on people’s radar.
If you need help finding your next opportunity, FGP is here to help. Please contact us to connect with our team today!