I strived to get my students to understand how important LinkedIn is for their online reputation and networking. Some understood, created a profile and asked for a recommendation. Others said they wanted to wait until they had some value to add – experience – to their industry. Why not get the ball rolling now? Why wait until you’ve graduated to get your online reputation/networking started?
So what do you do after you’ve set a LinkedIn profile? Take notice of content. This is where content really matters. Think of your LinkedIn profile as your resume. Put all your accomplishments and work experience on your page. Find a handful of groups to join – but make sure they apply to your industry. Don’t go willy-nilly and join tons of groups just to have tons of groups. It’s Quality over Quantity here.
Add your picture – and like Facebook make sure this is a professional photo – no binge drinking. Add links to your website, blog, Twitter. And customize your LinkedIn link so people can remember it. For example, mine is linkedin.com/in/maureenalley.
Next step is to add connections. Again remember Quality over Quantity. This isn’t a competition to add as many people as you can to beef up your profile. Think of your connections as people you can vouch for – and who can vouch for you. Write recommendations for a few of your connections who are great professionals. Most likely they will return the favor – which in turns beefs up your page.
Make sure people can send you e-mails. And keep your profile updated. Don’t abandon this page – it can turn out good leads and connections.