Today, if you walk into the career services office at almost any college, one of the first things career counselors will ask is if you’re using LinkedIn. With colleges having more representatives and talent scouts come for career fairs, presentations and on-campus interviews – it’s essential that college age students have well-fleshed out LinkedIn profiles. This gives students the capability to be pro-active with the business cards they collect. LinkedIn gives young people the ability to make then stand out from the crowd and hopefully connect online.
The problem is that once young people make connections and hopefully land the position they’re vying for, they let their LinkedIn profile wither like a plant. They hone their profile and connect with the professionals, but as soon as an opportunity comes along people forget about LinkedIn.
Here are tips on using LinkedIn for business, because there is more to it than just connecting with professionals when you’re job hunting.
Endorse Your Connections
LinkedIn encourages its users to only connect with people they know, either through work, college or a personal friendship. They further this through the ability to “Endorse” your connections for skills listed on their profile. Of course, if you connect with a complete stranger, it’s impossible for either of you to endorse each other. If you are a 2nd level connection with someone, you can ask a current connection to recommend you to that person and connect this way. Hopefully the colleagues, classmates and professors you’ve connected with know what you’re capable of and they’ll endorse you for skills. Remember to do the same for others in return!
Constantly networking is so important, even after you’ve landed your dream job. A great way to do this is to join groups. If you’re a member of an association or honor society — chances are they have a LinkedIn group. This is especially true with your alma mater’s alumni group. You’d be surprised at the places your classmates go after graduation.
Stay Active – Especially After the Job Hunt
Whether you joined LinkedIn to find a new job, or to make connections with professionals in your industry, it’s important to stay active after you’ve completed these activities. Once you find a job or have made a sufficient amount of connections, it’s critical that you stay active and continue to like, comment and share content with your connections rather than let your profile become stagnant. If you don’t stay active, then was there any point making those connections? You should definitely have something to share, whether it’s about an advancement in your field or something exciting at your company.
A great place to find content that other professionals are sharing is LinkedIn’s Blog:
Don’t Give Up On Using LinkedIn
With Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn this June, the notion that it’s a dying social media platform is not true. With Microsoft’s plans to revitalize it, changes within LinkedIn will be important to keep an eye on. Simply updating the employment section on your Facebook profile isn’t enough. People spend time on different social media platforms for different reasons. LinkedIn users are there specifically for work related reasons and it’s unique because people are sharing business related content that you won’t find on other social media platforms. So take a new headshot and share your company’s latest blog post or business achievement. But the most important thing is to not fall behind on LinkedIn because it’s here to stay.