We’ve all been through the rundown of how to add all your volunteer positions or how to make your summary sound new and shiny. Now that you have a basic profile covered, it’s time to get others to start pumping your ego for you. Here are five easy tips to have your LinkedIn go from awkward new grad to supercharged executive in no time at all.
1) Add 2 a day
Joining the 500+ connection club is the LinkedIn equivalent to becoming tenth prestige. Until you reach it, your profile is going to be subpar.
Building your network can feel like it requires too much effort, but it doesn’t have to be so daunting. Set yourself a reminder to connect with two to three people per day. Sounds annoying but think of it this way: You’re going to be looking for distractions at work or taking 27 study breaks anyway, just open LinkedIn once a day in the place of Facebook.
Don’t think you know enough people? You’d be surprised who you know. When it comes to your professional network, there’s a misconception that those in it need to be strictly business relationships. False. Personal networks are hugely important and you can often find yourself facing new business opportunities because you connected with your friend’s mom or your brother’s friend.
2) Add only people you know
Before you go speed adding everyone in your ‘People You May Know’ tab, it’s important to still remain selective in whom you’re adding.
As a general rule of thumb, a person should meet one of the criteria below before you send out a request to connect:
- You’ve met them in person (this is how your mom’s friends count too)
- You’ve spoken with them over email, social media, or the phone
Once you have a higher volume of connections, you’ll find you start getting more requests to connect from strangers. While you may be flattered, avoid adding them. It’s better to have an organic network of familiar faces than a bunch of recruiters and salespeople who connected with you for the wrong reason. There are of course a few exceptions, sometimes I will get a request from a CEO of a company I’d love to work with and I accept it without knowing them personally first. Hey, if they’re searching me out, I’m about it. Try to make sure you reach out to them as a response with a direct message to push that relationship further.
3) Endorse others
One of the biggest ways resumes fail is the highly made-up list of skills we include. Some teacher in the tenth grade probably told you x through y were good skills to include, so you’ve just left them on there. Listing skills will always be a little BS but at least with LinkedIn, you can have other people back you up.
When you’re logging onto LinkedIn to add two to three people each day, just stop by one or two profiles and endorse them for a few skills. LinkedIn prompts them to endorse you back and a lot of people will be inclined to do so out of reciprocity. Keep your list of skills brief so they’ll be prompted to endorse you for the skills you’d like to be none for. Who cares that 57 people agree you can use Microsoft Word? I would really hope you can.
4) Just ask (for recommendations)
It’s a lot of work for employers to pick up the phone and call your recommendations these days: They have to leave voicemails, try calling back, and then once they’ve got them on the phone, they have to explain who they are and why they’re calling. And this is all before they’ve even decided you’re worth their time.
Having recommendations on LinkedIn give employers an easy way to see what others are saying about you, and it can even help to attract other employers to you. While you may feel like the VP of your department at work or the TA of your tutorial has better things to do, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Typically, asking for favours in person works better than online but not here. LinkedIn lets you send people a request for recommendation, making it easy for them to just respond with a quick recommendation. Reach out to old employers, professors and even peers – you’ll be surprised by the number of recommendations you’ll receive.
It doesn’t have to be original content, but just post something every once in a while. Find a good article online that’s not about Drake or Kim K? Share it on LinkedIn. From tech news to business developments, sharing interesting finds helps you reappear in people’s home page feed to remind them you’re there.
If you are posting original content elsewhere, throw it up on LinkedIn as a native post as well. I recently tested it out and the engagement you get is unreal. To make it better, it’s another way people are reminded you’re there and doing something with your life – I couldn’t believe how many profile views I had from new faces and old who wanted to check in to see what I was up to now.