Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Should I be LinkedIn?

A social media platform that isn't given enough credit is LinkedIn. What is this Linked In that I speak of? It is a social networking site that allows professionals from diverse industries to connect with one another.

This is just one of the things that LinkedIn does. I haven't yet mentioned the benefits on your career. In a field such as Public Relations and Marketing, essentially, it's all about networking. You have to know people in the industry, or know people who know people in the industry, and even still know people who know people who know people in the industry. Did you get that? ;)
Along with networking with like-minded individuals, employers will post jobs on LinkedIn before posting elsewhere. Some even post exclusively on LinkedIn and not to the public.

Your skills and expertise are displayed on your profile page. Your education and work history are on the front lines. Just like Facebook, your current position is posted below your name and alongside your profile photo.
Some best practices:

·         Have an up to date photo - not the headshot you got done 10 years ago.

·       Keep it current - whether it's a new skill or a new position all together, adding what you are doing now will get more attention rather than something you did years ago and did not change.

·       Try to get endorsements - essentially what this does is confirms that the information you are providing on your profile is true and accurate. Past employers (assuming that you left on good terms), colleagues, and friends can endorse your profile.

·       Add people in your industry - you may find it difficult to add random people, LinkedIn requires you to know them or to know someone who knows them (I won't go on, you get what I am saying) before adding them.
Remember to keep things professional. Your followers on LinkedIn are not interested in what you had for breakfast or why your dog suddenly had to visit the vet. Potential employers will look through your profile and browse any links you've added, such as your blog.

Am I missing anything? Add it here, I'd love to hear your thoughts or experiences with the professional social networking site.

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