In which scenario would you be more concerned about creating a positive first impression- introducing yourself at a networking event or the response your profiles get online? Many of us would say making a great first impression in a face-to-face interaction is more important. But with LinkedIn, the largest digital and professional network, your profile has a higher amount of potential connections to impress. It’s just as vital that your LinkedIn profile is maintained in the same way you would ensure your networking skills were sharp or you were dressed professionally for an event. Most recruiters and future employers check LinkedIn when considering a candidate or searching for prospective candidates. So wouldn’t you want your profile to be as inviting as you are in person? Here are some easy guidelines to ensure you’re optimizing LinkedIn.
- DO personalize your LinkedIn connection requests instead of using the automatic template. Remind your prospective connection of how you met and why you want to connect with them.
- DON’T connect with people you don’t know, it should reflect who you know in your personal and professional life.
- DO be an active user. Maintain a presence by responding to messages and connection requests in a timely manner.
- DON’T embellish the truth. Be honest about your experience on your profile, you never know what a prospective employer may be looking for.
- DO update your profile so it coincides with where you are advancing in your professional career.
- DON’T have grammatical or spelling errors. It seems obvious, but you have to remember that LinkedIn is not as casual as Facebook.
- DO fill out the summary and bio on your profile. It gives a prospective employer some background information and allows you to sell yourself the way you would in a cover letter.
- DON’T join every LinkedIn group possible, only the professional associations you have in real life (such as Temple University PRSSA!).
- DO endorse and write recommendations for others, chances are one of your connections will do the same for you.