Social media has become an important outlet for maintaining interactive relationships through online forums. Employers and job seekers have greatly benefited from social networks, as they have increased the opportunity to identify potential candidates and available jobs. LinkedIn, one of the oldest and largest professional networks, with over 200 million members in 200 countries and territories around the world, is an extremely powerful hub of professionals. Not only does this network help you in a potential job search, it is also a wonderful medium to maintain valued connections, follow companies and join groups that discuss topics relevant to your professional interests. It’s not all about finding a job, it’s about nurturing the relationships you make while doing what you love and keeping up with trends that impact your career and intellectual growth. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, I encourage you to create one today and add your colleagues.
LinkedIn will take you through a simple step by step process of setting up your account. The beginning steps are outlined below.
- Visit //www.linkedin.com and fill in your first name, last name, email address, and password.
- After you click, “Join Now,” you will be redirected to a page that will ask you for your employment status, country, zip code, company name, and job title. Take note of the different options for employment status – you will likely want to choose “Employed” or “A business owner.” Also note that when you complete the company name field that a new field will appear for your company’s industry. Fill in all fields and click Create My Profile.
- LinkedIn will also send you an email to verify your email address at this time.
- At this time, LinkedIn will offer to find people that you already know on LinkedIn by examining the contact list of your webmail contacts. If you opt to skip this step, you can always do this later. Either fill in your email and email password and click Continue, or click “Skip this step.”
- Once you have confirmed your email address, LinkedIn will offer you a chance to invite other people that you know to join LinkedIn by inputting their email addresses. You can choose to type in some email addresses and click Send Invitations, or you can opt to skip this step.
- LinkedIn will now ask you if you want to pay for a Premium (paid) profile, or if you would rather have a Basic, free profile. Click the “Choose Basic” button.
- The initial set up of your LinkedIn profile is now complete. LinkedIn will now redirect you to your new LinkedIn home page. If LinkedIn shows you a video pop-up, you can either watch the video, or click the “x” in the top right to make the video go away.
- To edit your new profile, hover over the “Profile” dropdown menu and click “Edit Profile.” We recommend the following settings: a. Add a photo to your profile. This enables users who are searching for you to immediately recognize you (if they already know you).
To fill out additional information on your profile, you can import your resume and the information will populate in the proper fields or you can manually fill out the sections listed below:
- Skills & Expertise
You will have the option to follow various groups and companies that you are interested in. When joining groups, it’s recommended that you join and participate in discussions to help you gain new connections and share knowledge.
LinkedIn is a professional networking site and should be treated as such. It’s good practice to accept connection requests from people that you know. If you submit a request to connect with somebody you don’t know, you can seek an introduction from a connection that already knows this person or you should send a message in your request that briefly explains why you would like to connect. You may also share updates, similar to Facebook statuses, but it’s best to maintain professionalism with any messages, news articles, questions or blog posts that you share.
Make your LinkedIn profile today and start following Staff Management | SMX!