How to Use LinkedIn Like a Boss

By: Alisha Sedor

We’re all inundated with social media: keeping up with the news and dragging people on Twitter, staying in touch with our grandparents and groups on Facebook, finding the perfect filter on Instagram, being a flower child on SnapChat. With all of this going on, who has time for LinkedIn?

You do, my friend. You do. Why? Because during a career transition or job search, LinkedIn could prove to be one of your most important tools and ensuring you maintain it so it’s ready when you need it is essential. So, how do you make sure your LinkedIn is at the ready?

1. Treat your page like a resume on steroids.

Gussy up your profile by having all of your essential information up to date and organized in a way that's easy to digest.

2. Connect with people early and often

When you meet someone new, add them as a connection and include a note about how you met in the connection request. Pro-tip: Currently, this feature is only available in the web and not in the mobile app. If you connect in the mobile app, send an email or message to follow-up so you both remember how you connected.

Also, occasionally go through the suggested connections to make sure you're connected with all of your college friends, former colleagues, family friends, etc. It's a great activity to do while watching some TV or waiting to board a flight.

3. Ask for introductions

Don't just let those amazing connections sit there! Find people 2 degrees away from you at companies you love or doing the kind of work you want to do and ask your connector to make an introduction. Because it's a mutual connection, the other person is more likely to see you as a vetted contact and make time for you.

4. Don't cold connect

Adding people willy-nilly makes navigating your network harder. You won’t be able to leverage those people to make connections for you because they don’t actually know you and won’t be able to vouch for you.

5. Keep it active and live

Share content you like or have created. Comment on other people's posts. Share your professional successes. Reach out to people who share content you like. You'll probably learn something and meet some great people along the way.

6. Take it into the real world

Just like those super popular dating apps, eventually you have to take those conversations into real life to make them stick. Follow-up with your contacts with coffees, phone calls, sending them job recommendations, asking them to send you referrals for jobs you’re hiring for, etc. LinkedIn is the connector, but it’s not the action generator. You have to take that step.

For all the time we spend on social media, dedicate just a little time to grooming this social media tool for your professional life and you could see great benefit to your career!

Are Campus (or Campus-like) Offices Filled with Perks or Traps?

8 Ways to Create an Inclusive Workplace through Policies