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*Sigh* LinkedIn is simultaneously a wonderful and awful social-media platform. On the bright side, it’s a fantastic networking tool because it connects industry bigwigs and entry-level workers, providing fabulous networking opportunities and wealth of information. However, so many people misuse LinkedIn, and the result can be a frustrating user experience.
So, as a public service, we’ve provided a definitive guide for “How Not to Be That Clueless Employee on LinkedIn.” We may be preaching to the choir, fabulous social-media gurus, but we all need a little reminder sometimes, right?
Remember That Quality Trumps Quantity Every Time
The hard truth is, 60% of employers on LinkedIn aren’t looking to hire, but would be open to the opportunity if it presented itself. Therefore, the best use of your time is making valuable connections with real people. You don’t need one hundred followers. Instead, build valuable connections with four or five key people. Share expertise via the posts you share, earn recommendations, and straddle the line between confident and pushy. Stay in employers’ eyesight and you might wind up being the first on their mind the next time a job is posted.
Be Positive, Professional, and Stay On Task
Unlike Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr, LinkedIn is a strictly professional website. Therefore, it’s imperative that you maintain a level of professionalism in your conversations and posts. Don’t confuse the platform for your personal accounts. Only share articles you feel add to the conversation and reflect well on your “personal brand.” This means avoiding overly-political or biased news sources, irrelevant anecdotes, and other “amatuer-hour” behavior. Instead of dressing for the job you want, digitally network for the job you want.
A Picture is Important
Make sure your picture is professional, well-lit, and (hopefully) displays you smiling. You want to appear approachable yet competent. If you’re at a loss for what makes a great photo, seek out a professional photographer who specializes in business photography. If it helps, think about the kinds of pictures that appear next to columnists’ articles. Make sure you are dressed in your best business attire and that the photo represents your personality. This is a crucial component of your brand or message! Don’t skimp. For more tips, consult this Business Insider article on “Rules for Your Profile Picture.”
Watch What the Pros Do
You should definitely be following your industry’s innovators on LinkedIn and carefully analyzing the way they behave. Don’t passively subscribe to their posts. Instead, be careful in your studies. Look at the specifics. When observing the pros, ask yourself important questions. What time of day do they post? What are they reading? Who are they interacting with and what does that conversation look like? In order to be more employable, you have to emulate the habits of the best and brightest leaders. Read as much as you can. Force yourself to network and notice what works and what doesn’t.
So what do you think? Are you ready to revolutionize your LinkedIn persona? Leave your comments after the jump!