“It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know.” This was the first thing I heard out of my college professors mouth. It was my 1st day of freshman year and my first class. It was also the most valuable thing I learned in college.
Networking plays a huge part in your professional life. Wheather you are looking for your first job or just looking for a mentor, you have to be able to network.
When I first discovered LinkedIn I thanked the techno gods for thinking of such a genius platform. LinkedIn is by far my favorite social media site and I only wish it came out while I was still in college. Not only is the site user friendly, it is the perfect way to network with not only professionals in your area but around the world.
It is great for businesses to post job openings on as well. My last corporate job I found on LinkedIn.
Thanks to LinkedIn I have been able to connect with so many amazing talented professionals from all different industries and I didn’t even have to leave my house! Which is amazing for an introvert like myself.
In today’s world it is so hard to get a job. Many people are out of work and there is a lot of competition. You have to stand out. The best way to stand out is to find someone on LinkedIn that is in the field you want to be in and send them a message. I still to this day send out messages to other people on LinkedIn just introducing myself and asking for advice. You’ll be surprised how many people are willing to talk to you and help. I’ve sent people messages and the next day I was on the phone with them, talking about their career paths and getting advice. Sometimes weeks after the networking call I would receive an email from them about a job opportunity that they know of that they think I would be a good fit for. Not everyone will message you back or take the time to talk to you on the phone or in person but it’s great practice for networking and it helps you get me comfortable talking about yourself and your experience.
When you go on a job interview, and I have been on plenty, the employer is going to ask you to tell them about yourself. This was an easy question to answer because when I networked on LinkedIn that is exactly what I was doing. People think that talking about yourself is easy but it is a lot harder than you think especially at a job interview and your nervous.
Here are some tips I would give to anyone new to LinkedIn:
- You will hear from other articles or people that is it not a good idea to connect with people you don’t know. Ignore those people! LinkedIn is about networking so why would you network with people you already know? Connect with as many people as you can, you never know what kind of opportunities people have open.
- Make sure your profile picture is professional. This isn’t Facebook, people don’t want to see a picture of you drunk with a beer in your hand or a blurry picture. You don’t have to hire a professional photographer either, I took a selfie of myself before I went to a wedding. My hair is done, my make up is on and I am wearing a professional looking dress.
- Write a summary about yourself and your goals in the summary section of your profile. It gives people a better idea of who you are and what you are looking for in a career.
- When writing content don’t post or repost anythibg unprofessional. Putting a meme with curse words is not a good idea. Save those for Facebook.
These are the basics but if you need help setting up your LinkedIn account or revising your existing account I would love to help! I am a LinkedIn guru and have an obsession with the site!
Do you have a LinkedIn account? What are some tips that you would give to LinkedIn newbies? Let me know in the comments.