LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to make contacts and connections if utilized correctly but most users create their account and don’t really know where to go next with it. Here is a small guide to getting something out of that freshly made LinkedIn profile.
First, understand the difference between a contact and a connection. A contact is a one-way street where you simply have access to that person if the need arises and a connection goes both ways in which you and the connection actively help each other.
Next, there are a lot of articles out there telling you what every facet of your LinkedIn profile should look like. Just make sure you use a professional photo and have a well written headline and summary. Do not use a photo from your last birthday party and a headline introducing yourself.
Another thing to keep in mind is to not advertise yourself as looking for a job. Studies have shown that employers prefer “passive” job-seekers because they do not seem as desperate for just any job.
Obviously reach out to friends and colleagues you already know are using LinkedIn as this will help you find leads for connections outside your circle. Have them introduce you to their contacts instead of simply sending a generic request to be paired on LinkedIn.
Post updates on your timeline so it doesn’t just stay empty and check your connection updates as well. If you do not know what to post then share snapshots of your work and stuff related to your industry (or future industry).
Finally, check who has viewed your profile because this can be a good indicator of who likes what you put out and who doesn’t. It can also be a chance to make even more contacts because the people viewing your profile might not always take the first step.
Welcome to the professional world.