Do you have a LinkedIn account? If you don’t or if you have one that you barely use, it’s time to turn that around. This platform is an invaluable resource for job seekers, as it allows you to extend your professional network and connect with people who can help you move up the ladder. Follow these seven “do’s and don’ts” to create an impressive LinkedIn presence:
Do – Take the time to complete your entire profile.
LinkedIn is your platform to tell hiring managers and recruiters exactly what you have to offer. The more information you include in your profile, the better your chances of getting hired. Thoroughly complete all sections, including headline, summary, work history, skills, volunteer experience and more, because you never know what will help you get noticed.
Don’t – Treat LinkedIn like other social networks.
It’s perfectly acceptable to share your vacation photos, vent your frustrations and post about your kids on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — but never on LinkedIn. This platform is your place to put your professional face forward. If a post doesn’t relate to your career, it doesn’t belong on LinkedIn.
Do – Join relevant groups and participate in discussions.
Connect with other professionals in your field by joining relevant groups and participating in discussions. This is a great way to get your name out there and network with people who may be able to help you advance in your career.
Don’t – Ask people you barely know for endorsements or recommendations.
Endorsements and recommendations are certainly a great way to enhance your profile, but only when you get them from the right people. Don’t overstep your boundaries by asking people you’ve never directly worked with to vouch for you, as you’ll probably make them feel uncomfortable.
Do – Use a professional headshot for your profile photo.
Whether you like it or not, people will make judgments based on the profile photo you choose. When possible, post a professional headshot that makes you look polished and dignified. If you don’t have one, ask someone to take a photo of you standing against a plain white wall and crop it into a headshot.
Don’t – Let your profile become stagnant.
It’s important to remain active on LinkedIn, to make it clear that you’re currently seeking new opportunities. At minimum, try to post one new article or update a week, so you’ll keep appearing in the newsfeeds of your connections. Don’t let yourself get out of site and out of mind.
Do – Connect with current and past associates.
While you shouldn’t ask random people to connect with you just to boost your total number of connections, you should send requests to past and current colleagues, clients, classmates and anyone else you know. The larger your network, the greater your number of possibilities.
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