LinkedIn launched in 2003, but this social media networking tool continues to be a winning resource – if you keep up to date on your LinkedIn do’s and don’ts.
Social media networking 101 starts with LinkedIn. Whether trying to grow your network, update skills for your current job, or land a new gig, LinkedIn has opportunities for career building. Unlike other social networks that emphasize the personal, LinkedIn focuses on the professional. Of course, there is some room to share your personality – if you do it right. It’s all about putting your best foot forward to introduce yourself, while keeping a little bit of flair to stand out from the crowd.
That said, maximizing the benefits of LinkedIn means staying current on the platform. Social media is constantly changing, and so are the expectations attached to digital networking. What was in fashion in 2003, when LinkedIn launched, may not be the norm now. Additionally, new features worth brushing up on continue to debut. Today, LinkedIn considers itself the world’s largest professional network, as it is home to more than 700 million members from more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. That’s a big difference from the few hundred profiles that were on LinkedIn when it launched.
Want to know more about LinkedIn as it nears the two decade mark? Recent stats suggest the platform is seeing even more growth: In 2020, LinkedIn noticed a 55% increase in conversations among connections and a 60% increase in content creation. As job and talent seekers flex their digital networking muscles, understanding the current world of LinkedIn will help build and manage an exciting network that is worth your time and talent. So, dust off your digital resume and log on to LinkedIn! Get reacquainted with the platform and follow these LinkedIn do’s and don’ts to get the most out of your experience.
LinkedIn Do: Try Slow Networking
Not everyone loves to network. Why? Networking can feel stressful, especially if you are someone who prefers to live an introverted life. Having a little stage fright or fear of rejection is totally human. But if you are someone who simply can’t get excited for networking, you may worry you underperform in group settings. Additionally, attending a conference or happy hour can also feel stressful if you are on a tight schedule and have multiple demands in your personal and professional life.
If you are someone who has trouble making cold calls or approaching strangers, LinkedIn and other digital networking opportunities can be a boon. Interacting with professionals online can help you expand your network and skills on your schedule and in a way that feels comfortable to you.
For this reason, slow networking is a LinkedIn do. But even in the digital world, networking doesn’t have to be about quantity. Instead, focus on the quality of connections. Don’t rush through online interactions trying to scoop up as many profiles as possible. And don’t feel like you have to accept every LinkedIn invite that gets sent your way. Is that person really trying to connect with you? Or are they just trying to increase their connections? Slow networking means building thoughtful connections. Building your connections gradually emphasizes meaningful relationships that will benefit you in the long run.
LinkedIn Don’t: Failing to Stay Connected
Real-world networking can sometimes feel forced or even fake. If classic networking is not your thing, don’t think LinkedIn is the equivalent of the easy route. Even online, effective networking is about forging genuine connections. This is only possible if you work on your relationships!
Failing to stay connected in a LinkedIn don’t. While you may think of your LinkedIn profile as low-maintenance, there are necessary steps to take to stay in the social media orbit. Your LinkedIn page can be a dynamic platform. It’s not a printed resume that stays the same forever. Find ways in which you feel comfortable interacting with others, such as liking or commenting on posts, posting relevant industry articles, or publishing your own updates. Recently earned a certificate? Add it to your profile! Join a group or follow a company that aligns with your interests. Whatever you do, make it something that fits with your personality and industry. Even in the online world, nobody likes forced and fake interactions.
LinkedIn Do: Keep It Professional (But Personal, Too!)
It may be a LinkedIn do to keep things professional, but it’s also a LinkedIn don’t to come off too professional. Finding appropriate ways to share your personality in a polished and friendly way can pay off. Start small by updating your profile pic to a professional headshot. And remember to smile! A clean, welcoming image of you (and only you) serves as your “hello” to your online network.
Then, go over your bio one more time. Does it focus on clearly conveying what you do and your ethos? Sharing a few details about yourself can help you stand out. Are you a passionate volunteer for a local cause? LinkedIn is more than a resume; it’s a place to tell your story. Don’t focus on trying to make a sale or spam your contacts. Be authentically you.
LinkedIn Don’t: Underestimate LinkedIn
Of all the LinkedIn do’s and don’ts, this one should hopefully be the easiest to follow. Simply put, engage! Make it a habit to check your LinkedIn profile at least once a week, and more frequently if you are in an active job search. Even though this online networking resource brings connections to you, the people who get the most out of LinkedIn are the ones who make it an active experience. Dedicate real time and effort to maintaining your LinkedIn page and connections. Simple steps like writing personal invitations and checking notifications can go a long way to communicate with others that there is a human behind your profile.