Do you need a LinkedIn account, but don’t know where to start? Beginning your LinkedIn journey can be overwhelming, but we are here to help. Follow these 5 steps to LinkedIn success to get started!
1. Rethink Your Approach to LinkedIn
Social Media can be defined as any online platform that fosters communication to build community. With this definition in mind, we want to change the way we think about LinkedIn. Instead of viewing the platform as a static, online resume, let’s reframe our perspective to thinking about LinkedIn as a form of social media. We are meant to interact with the content on the platform and contribute to the conversations. LinkedIn is a social networking tool with a professional spin, and when we treat it as such, our experience with the platform changes.
For lack of a better comparison, I encourage you to think about LinkedIn as a professional Facebook. You have a static page with your basic information, but most of the interaction with the platform happens in your content feed – liking, commenting, posting, etc.
2. Build Out Your Profile
The first thing you do when you join Facebook is create your static profile. With LinkedIn, we want to start in the same place. Fill out the information about your education, experience (don’t forget internships and student leadership positions), skills, etc. This is your professional snapshot. When someone you have never met glances at your profile, what will they walk away with? You also need to add a professional photo and cover photo. If you need a professional photo, check out the Iris Photo Booth in the Career Center! For the cover photo, make sure to avoid anything wordy – the words might get cut off. Instead, consider one of our stock photos of campus found here.
*Professional Photo hack: If you don’t have a professional photo and are not able to make it to campus, throw on a nice blazer or collared shirt that makes you feel comfortable, find a friend with an iPhone and a nice tree. Have your friend put their phone in portrait mode and take a picture of you from the bust up in front of a nice tree. This looks professional, has personality, and is free.
3. Connect with Your Network
“Connecting” with users on “LinkedIn” is the equivalent of friending on other social media platforms. Who should you connect with? Start with your immediate network – coworkers, peers, staff, professors, etc.) This will allow you to see their content and allow them to interact with your content. Once you have connected with your immediate network, explore connecting with people in your field. Make sure to send a message along with your connection request so they know why you are reaching out. Check out the message templates on our website!
4. Start Interacting with Content
Now that you have made some connections, you will start to see content on your feed. Start interacting with this content. Like, celebrate, comment – all of these interactions are valuable. Unlike many other platforms, interaction with others content is displayed on your profile. You will also see content that your connections have interacted with on your feed. Don’t be afraid to interact with this content. It will help you to meet new people and build your network!
5. Start Posting Content
You’ve rethought your approach to LinkedIn, built your profile, connected with your network, and started interacting with others content. Now it is time to start posting some content of your own. Share a post with your thoughts on a topic in your field, post an employment update, or maybe post a piece of work you are proud of.
Still feeling overwhelmed? Schedule an appointment today and one of our consultants will be happy to assist you.