You have probably heard that LinkedIn has become a very powerful business tool. In fact, you may have already signed up for the site and have your profile picture up for others to see. There are many people that I see on LinkedIn who have clearly just signed up on the site because everyone else has, but I want to make sure that you are using it to the best of your abilities.
LinkedIn is probably a more powerful networking tool than you even realize. Just putting a profile picture up and a little about yourself really won’t fly if you’re attempting to network with others on this site.
TWO STEPS TO A PROFESSIONAL LINKEDIN PROFILE
1. Make sure that your profile matches your resume and has all of your up to date information for other’s to view.
2. Choose a profile picture that is professional and one that you would consider appropriate for the workplace. We love seeing photos of your children and pets but LinkedIn is not the place to display these fun photos. If you are attempting to connect with others on LinkedIn, they could potentially quickly write you off if they don’t find you professional at first glance.
HOW TO NETWORK WITHIN LINKEDIN
Now that you have your profile looking professional and top notch, it is time to start actively joining and engaging in groups and the topics that people present in them. Make sure you are commenting only when you have something relevant to add to the discussion. Just like in networking where you meet up with people face to face, you want people to view you as a great source of information, someone who is knowledgeable about their industry and someone who is willing to help others. You can easily connect with others on LinkedIn with the click of a button.
Feel free to send people messages and talk to them about how you can help each other. If they have joined a group and are actively involved, chances are that you’ll hear back from them rather quickly. Meeting face to face is always a wonderful way to get to know people, but you have to remember that you can network even while sitting behind your own office desk. LinkedIn is a wonderful way to do that as millions of people from around the world have also joined and are looking to make important business connections. Try searching for a group that would be helpful and relevant for your industry and let me know what happens!
What networking groups are you involved in on LinkedIn and why?