LinkedIn is the only social media which is not funny. LinkedIn is a weird form of social media; it is stressful. It is an uncomfortable type of Facebook; it is like being at the office where I have to be my tried-to-be-professional me, and that is the version of me I do not like too much.
However, you must have a LinkedIn. It is a platform where thousands of organizations in the world look for candidates. Also, it is the place where institutions revise profiles for participation in forums, conferences, or mentors for mentees, or colleagues to contact other colleagues.
It took me years to find what to do with my LinkedIn profile and how to handle it. I want to share what I have learned.
1. More description.
I am assuming your LinkedIn profile is updated (if not, go and update now). What I have observed is people add their professional experience with the name of the position they had in the past, but it is not enough. For example, you had a job as "Account Executive," it does not say anything.
You need to add what your job was, what your projects were, what goals you accomplished. I understand if you do not want to be too specific to have some information to share in your future job interviews.
The main point is: a good company will not call you if they do not have good reasons to do it. The only way they will have good reasons is having a completed profile.
2. Skills and accomplishments.
When a company is looking for candidates to fill a position, they use searching tools. These searching tools look for people based on their previous and current jobs and for skills and accomplishments. It is essential to have this information updated and with a good number of skills.
What skills do you need to add? That is the question. First, you need to know what the next job is that you want to get. I am not talking about your dream job because, probably, your dream job requires some steps before you get it.
Knowing what the next position is that you want, you must check what skills the companies are looking for in positions like yours. For example, if you want to find a job as a Communications Specialist, many organizations ask for people who speak a second language, have excellent communication skills, writing skills, teamwork, and social media skills. You should add all those skills in your profile.
3. Photo profile.
You know your photo profile must be professional. I know all the photo profiles on LinkedIn look so alike, but there are only a couple of poses where we can look "professional." Also, it is essential the picture is close enough to show your face. You should smile because you look kind and more intimate. If you have doubts about your photo profile, you can check the picture that professionals in high positions use.
4. Be active.
You work hard to update your profile, choosing a good photo and adding as many skills as you can. You need to show all this information to the world. You must be active; you can share articles (articles you must read first and sometimes you need to read more than one to find a good one), congratulate your network accomplishments, presenting interesting questions and commenting others' articles.
LinkedIn should take at least 30 minutes of your daily time.
5. Create a strong network.
Of course, the first people we have in our LinkedIn network are our friends. But, on LinkedIn, you need more than your friends. You should add ex-coworkers and ex-bosses. Also, you can add people who can help you to get the next job you want to find. If you're going to be part of a company, you can research who are part of HR of this company, who are part of the department you want to be part of and who are the former employees of that company. If you are part of their community, it is going to be more comfortable to appear in their searching tools.
Don't be ashamed of sending a connection request to people you do not know in person.
Using LinkedIn is essential for your future professional steps. You need to dedicate time to it and it will worth it.