If you use no other social media, you still need LinkedIn to help manage your professional life. Surveys show professional participation at more than 80%.
But the pros say a lot of us are doing it wrong. Here are some of the ways:
- You show up only when you need a job. It’s usually kind of obvious when a barely existent LinkedIn profile jumps to life. Build your profile a bit at a time, rather than sticking your hand out when you need something.
- Your profile and connections are incomplete. The profile comes first, but the two should grow together. Your photo, a quality head shot, is mandatory. Build connections while endorsing others’ professional skills.
- You’re in the wrong groups. Join alumni groups, and be as specific as you can with trade groups.
- You’re not sharing. When you produce or come across some helpful industry material, share it on LinkedIn. Be judicious in sharing only the most relevant material. This will show you as a thought leader—someone people look forward to hearing from.
- You haven’t brought your team along. Some departments are harder than others—you may never get your CFO on Facebook—but LinkedIn is a professional network, so point out its importance to your whole team. Imagine getting ready to make a deal with a company and finding out on LinkedIn that one of your employees already is connected to the chief marketing officer there.