Melissa Smith_Grit and Soul

LinkedIn Best Practices That Set You Apart: Part 2

Now that your LinkedIn profile is nice and strong, here’s how you can make the most of your LinkedIn connections:

Grow your connections
People limit themselves on LinkedIn when they hesitate to hit the “connect” button and by neglecting to write a personal note along with the connection request. It takes two minutes or less to explain why you’d like to connect with that person and how you might provide value. It’s a personal touch that can be the difference between your request being ignored or accepted.

Update your status
You can update your LinkedIn status (much like you update your Facebook status) and I recommend that you update it in a professional and strategic way on a weekly basis.  Demonstrate your expertise by writing articles or sharing articles about your field. You can also share a quote, ask a question, or pass along a recent accomplishment. Scroll through your feed and see what catches your eye, then use that inspiration to post some content. Your entire network will see your updates in their news feeds. And regularly check out your connections’ posts, and like, share, and comment. Engagement strengthens these connections and helps your network grow.

Use the alumni tool
Harness the power of your alumni network. Locate the LinkedIn page for your school, and then click “Alumni” in the menu on the left hand side of the page. Explore your own school (or any other) to see where graduates live, the organizations they work for, and the types of jobs they’ve had. You can also narrow down by date range, what they studied, what they’re skilled at, and how you’re connected on LinkedIn.

Maximize advanced people-search filters
There are many ways to access LinkedIn’s advanced search filters. Start by clicking into the search bar, then clicking on the magnifying glass. Select “All Filters,” then try the following searches:

  • You can search using keywords such as company or job title. For example, you can search for “managing director, life and career planning.” That will bring you to me!
  • If you don’t know the full name of the person you’re searching for, enter other information that you know about them. For example, you can search for “Editor The Star Ledger”.
  • You can also search for multiple people by typing your search criteria into the search bar.
  • Mine your connections’ connections: Click in the search bar, when the menu below pops up select “people” and then select “all filters.” Enter a colleague’s name under “Connections of” and search for people in their network whom you’d like to meet. Then ask for an introduction.
  • Find people who used to work at your company: Say you’re working at IBM but want to make a move. Enter IBM under “Past companies” to find people who used to work there. Contact them, and use your mutual workplace as a hook—for example, “I see that you used to work at IBM. How are things at X company?”

Encourage LinkedIn recommendations
When someone says, “You did a great job on that project!” ask him or her highlight that success by writing a recommendation on LinkedIn. Don’t hesitate to specify what you’d like the recommender to focus on, like “Julie’s contributions on the project enabled us to increase projected sales by 4%.” This will help showcase your strengths. You can manage recommendations that are already on your profile by clicking the “Edit” icon on that section and toggling to “Show” or “Hide” each one. If it’s close but not quite right, you can also request revisions from the person who wrote it.

Help students and recent graduates to harness the power of LinkedIn
If you know a young person who is graduating from college or a masters program or is a recent graduate, steer them to https://university.linkedin.com/linkedin-for-students.  This pdf provides an overview of these alumni tools https://university.linkedin.com/content/dam/university/global/en_US/site/pdf/alumni-tool-final.pdf

The more time you spend with LinkedIn, the more skillful and confident you will become. If there is something you want to find out about LinkedIn, a quick Google search will provide you with ample resources to figure out what you want to find or learn. Put yourself out front in the career networking world by investing some time in updating your profile and becoming adept in maximizing LinkedIn’s powerful search and networking tools.


Also see:

LinkedIn Best Practices That Set You Apart: Part 1

Crying at work – it happens!

The Skill of Delegating

How to Make Criticism at Work, Work for You.

How to Approach and Explain Your Career Gap


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