Using LinkedIn Effectively and Professionally
LinkedIn has turned into more than just a networking site. Some people have begun to treat it similarly to social media websites like Facebook. LinkedIn even has selected “LinkedIn Influencers,” approved to create notable content for the site. How do you navigate a content-sharing website with everything from promotion announcements to status updates about someone making it through their most recent breakup?
Share Professional Goals and Achievements
LinkedIn is THE PLACE to share updates about your professional development. To some extent, it is a place to (humbly) brag on yourself a little and show what you can offer. Share the article you just wrote. Post about your new promotion. Talk about your latest professional goals. Keep things short and to the point. There is no need for dramatics and ultra-personal details—save the personal stuff for Facebook. If you are currently job searching, let your connections know! Share a post about your goals, what you are looking for, and call on your followers to let you know of any opportunities they may hear of. Most importantly: KEEP THINGS PROFESSIONAL.
Ask Questions and Be Real
Be sure to present yourself accurately. You do not need to pretend that you have it all together. Feel free to share a quick blurb about how going back to work after maternity leave was a big transition or post an update about how you stayed motivated after a death in the family—be sure to focus the post on your work. Sharing things like this on LinkedIn can be helpful to others going through similar things. Make sure you keep your post professional while also being honest.
On a lighter note, asking questions provides a space to engage with your connections in a way that can lead to some good networking conversations. Post a poll or a question for people to engage with. They can be lighthearted! For example, “Which K Cup flavor is the best to have in the break room?” or “Do you bring lunch to work or get takeout more?”
The primary purpose of LinkedIn is to network. Use it! Follow people in your field. Connect with fellow alumni from your alma mater. LinkedIn is a HUGE resource to find people in your specific niche. Message them and ask questions. Look to LinkedIn to find a career mentor or even just to connect with others in your field.
Use LinkedIn to your advantage! Connect with friends and fellow professionals to stay up to date on your field and your friend’s career moves.