I'm pretty sure every young adult is told that they need to get on LinkedIn if they want to have any chance of succeeding.
And while LinkedIn most certainly isn't going to be the only thing that helps you succeed, it definitely helps.
But that's where the problem arises: it's not just being on LinkedIn that helps you become successful; It's being seen on LinkedIn.
One of my marketing professors put it best: "They say it's not what you know, but who you know. Well, I say it's not who you know, but WHO knows YOU."
That is definitely some of the best advice I got in college.
Everyone is always talking about networking and worrying about how many alumni and business executives they know, but no one ever stops to wonder if these people actually know you.
How embarrassing would it be to walk into a networking event hosted by someone you claim you know, only to have them look at you like you're a three-headed dog when you walk over and say hi? (I am proud to say that this has not actually happened to me. Yet.)
One way to avoid a lot of these awkward encounters is to master LinkedIn.
As a start, I think you should take a look at this article on HerCampus: The 4 Deadly LinkedIn Sins
I have also taken the time to provide a few of my own tips! Take a look:
1. If your profile doesn't say "All-Star" when you're editing it, is there really even a point to have it at all? ~ There are varying levels of a "completed" profile on LinkedIn, from Beginner, to Intermediate, to Advanced, to Expert, to All-Star; these all relate to your "profile strength." The highest rating you can get? All-Star. This means that you have everything filled out and that you have everything filled out well. You don't just have your past employment; you have detailed descriptions of what you accomplished there. You don't just have a list of the projects you've completed in your career; you have examples and detailed descriptions.
2. Does you profile have relevant information? Or just information that you think you should include? ~ Sure, it might sound nice to include that you successfully planned a sorority formal under a strict time constraint. But why is that important and how does it relate to the type of career you're aiming toward? Are you going to be an event planner, then that's basically all you need to say. If not, you need to explain. If you cannot relate whatever experience to your area of expertise, then you shouldn't include it; at that point, it's just a filler and it distracts away from the things that recruiters could (and should) really be looking at.
3. If you're not sharing, no one is noticing you. ~ Now, I'm not saying you have to draft up a super witty article every single day so that you get noticed. But you should be sharing articles that relate to your industry, the job search, really anything that seems relevant to your professional career. This way, you're showing up in the Updates for all of your 1st connections as well as that of some 2nd or 3rd connections in your groups. If they like what they see, they'll share it and then even more people will see it and you are more likely to get noticed. This effect is 10x better if you are the actual author of a post that gets passed around! This is the number one way that you ensure that people know who you are rather than just being another profile. Remember, it's who knows you, not who you know.
So, those are my tips for perfecting your personal LinkedIn strategy! Obviously, LinkedIn is not a one-size-fits-all platform, so play around with what you like and what you don't like to see the best results for you!
The main purpose of LinkedIn is to connect with other professionals, but another really get benefit is finding a job. The more connected you are, the more out there you are, and the more people who will reach out to you with jobs that fit your qualifications (believe me, it happens!)
I'm sure there are plenty of you with your own LinkedIn suggestions, so tell me all about 'em! I know you all know how to use that comment button.