I have been on LinkedIn a lot lately in the hopes of finding a new job and networking. Here are some tips that can hopefully help you too.
-Do complete your profile: Simple enough but many people leave their profiles very vague. Fill out as much of your experience as you can to give potential employers a good idea of who you are as a worker.
-Do post a picture: Not posting a picture gives the appearance that you have something to hide. Or that you are lazy.
-Don't post a personal picture: And when you do post a picture, make sure it is a professional one. This is not Facebook, so pictures with your pet, children, or significant other are not ok. A simple smiling photo of your face is all that is needed.
-Do keep your profile professional: Once again this is not Facebook. So anything you post or share should be kept within the realm of professionalism. Only share items that have to do with working.
-Do join groups: Joining groups is a great way to make new connections and to meet like minded individuals.
-Do make connections strategically: Figure out what your career goals are and then make connections based on that. Is there a certain company you want to work for? Make connections with people who work there. Is there a certain position you want? Make connections with people who already have that job.
-Do send messages with a point: Its not enough to just make connections. Once a connection is established, reach out to those people. Ask them for advice, or a question about something you saw on their profile. The more you engage, the more you increase your chances of getting the kind of job you want.
-Don't be rude: This should go without saying but always be polite in your messages and statuses. This is a potential employers first impression of you so make it a good one.
-Do reply to messages: I have run into this a lot. I have sent messages and have gotten no replies at all. I feel it is important to always reply because you never know if the person messaging you might have something valuable to offer. It is always a good idea to build bridges when you can.
-Don't neglect your account: Even if you are not actively looking for a job, it is still good to check your account at least once a week. This way you can post updates as needed and answer any messages you may have gotten.