LinkedIn can be the most powerful tool to get ahead in your career path. Sure, that might sound like a bold statement, but, for anyone who knows what the hell they’re doing on the business-oriented social networking site, LinkedIn will go a long way in helping you sell yourself and will become the best way to build relationships — you just need to how to use it.
There are plenty of different experts who have outlined the common LinkedIn profile mistakes we all need to correct, pointing out how we’re not doing a great job presenting ourselves online by forgetting to have an up-to-date work history or, worse, not having a profile at all. But instead of just giving you the exact same thing, how about we examine the right way to make the most out of the site, and give you prime examples on how you can land your dream job, meet new people and/or just keep solid relationships going.
What Am I Doing Wrong On LinkedIn?
This might be a simple question, but, unfortunately, there isn’t a clear black and white answer. That’s because only you know how you are (or aren’t) using LinkedIn. That said, if you’re not checking the app every single day, you’re already using it wrong.
So, why is it important to check LinkedIn at least once per day? Simple, because you’re doing the same on other social networking apps like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and others, so why in the hell aren’t you doing it for the one place that can most impact you with your career? It actually seems insane that you aren’t already in the habit of using LinkedIn more often.
From being up-to-date about industry news, to seeing job openings at some of the companies you’re interested in, to simply reading about trending topics that you should probably know about, LinkedIn doesn’t give you all the self-promoting bullshit that other social apps do. That means you’re actually learning something when you visit the site, which, c’mon, is something we all need to be doing more of.
OK, So What Am I Already Doing Right On LinkedIn?
Well, assuming you’ve got a LinkedIn profile, you’re already off to a good start. Now comes the tricky part — actually selling yourself on there the right way to make you stand out from other people.
Outside of the obvious things you should already have in your profile — like a recent picture and short descriptions of your work experience — there’s one question you should be asking yourself: What makes someone else intrigued by you?
Think about it, much like standing in a crowded bar with a bunch of people who all look similar, how can you become the person who looks like the most interesting to talk to? It could be your clothing. It could be your smile. It could be your energy. It could be the way you’re engaging with others. On LinkedIn, believe it or not, it’s pretty similar.
You need to actively be sharing articles or updates on LinkedIn, while liking or commenting on interesting things you see on there. Engaging yourself in conversations with other people — even if only done through a computer or phone screen — allows others to see that you’re making an effort. It means you’re being part of a community, regardless of what your purpose of doing so really is.
What’s The Best Way To Message On LinkedIn?
We all love human interaction, and it doesn’t always have to be in real life, meaning it’s totally cool if it only comes via the social variety to be effective. But, be cautious, because there are rules to doing it.
The most common way to interact directly with someone on LinkedIn is through messaging, where it gives you an opportunity to start a conversation with nearly every single one of your connections. And, contrary to what you might believe, sending a message on the site isn’t as simple as sending a work email.
Unlike most emails, a LinkedIn message needs a call to action. Are you inquiring about a job? Are you selling a product? Are you catching up with an old colleague? Are you just creating small talk to introduce yourself for future possibilities? If it’s the latter, don’t bother hitting that little “Send” button, because, sorry to say it, but you’re probably not going to get a reply.
Remember: how can you stand out from others on LinkedIn?
When messaging someone, you need to give something others want. Start the conversation by sharing a story you came across. Or, when doing some recon work by connecting with an HR manager about a job opening, introduce yourself by attaching a resume in the first email and get directly to the point, eliminating a bunch of the fluff in-between.
LinkedIn Should Represent Your Personal Brand
Uh, do you know how important your personal brand is? Although a lot of us might not regularly think about it, it’s something that should be at the top of your mind — because, just as Under Armour and others companies care about their brand image, you, too, need to do the same. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to establish one.
Unlike other social apps which often show your personal interests only, the business-oriented site is where you can mix a few of those hobbies and volunteer opportunities with your professional experience. It’s where you can brag about starting a side hustle that’s outside of your normal 9-to-5 job, share an inspiring lesson you learned and share your thoughts on industry-related news, all while outlining your work background for employers to see. That’s pretty awesome.
As mentioned at the jump, LinkedIn can be the most powerful tool for you to get ahead in your career. It can be a place that opens new doors to the future you want in life. It can introduce you to potential business partners, investors and hiring managers, and, when used correctly, will become the single-most important place for you to represent yourself in the manner with which you want.