You’re on LinkedIn, you’ve filled in all the blanks on your profile, and you’ve made some connections. Congratulations – you’re off to a great start! But there’s more work to be done.
If all you’re doing on LinkedIn is accepting the occasional connection request and scanning your newsfeed, you’re missing out on several features that can help boost your visibility and establish your industry expertise. It’s not enough merely to have a presence on LinkedIn; if you want to catch the eye of a potential employer, you need to step up and stand out.
Here are three LinkedIn features that can make the difference between getting noticed or getting passed over.
LinkedIn allows you to post updates that will appear in the newsfeeds of your connections. It is a great way to maintain visibility among your connections and also to show that you’re engaged in your industry.
Remember that LinkedIn is a professional social site, so it’s not the place for the same type of personal updates you might post on Facebook or Twitter. Ideal topics include timely, industry-related articles from trade publications; the “LinkedIn Today” section at the top of your newsfeed; or reputable, or high-profile sites such as Mashable or Forbes. Engaging, open-ended questions about trends in your industry are also great topics for updates.
LinkedIn groups provide a great way to network with other people in your industry. It is also a way connect with recruiters, who often participate in industry-specific groups for the express purpose of connecting with new talent. Groups are also a good place to learn about job opportunities that may not be posted elsewhere.
There are two ways to participate in a group. You can start a discussion by asking a question or sharing a link to an article, or you can comment on discussions other group members have started. Sharing your opinions and participating in conversations will help boost your visibility and establish your expertise in your field.
Another benefit of groups is the chance to increase your connections. People are often more open to accepting connection requests from group members than they are to accepting unsolicited requests.
3. Follow Companies
LinkedIn allows you to follow companies in much the same you would follow someone on Twitter. When you follow a company, all of their updates, which often include job listings, will appear in your newsfeed. Paying attention to the kind of content they share may also help you get a better picture of trends, concerns and culture at your target companies, so when you do get that interview, you’ll be ahead on your research.