I took a few months off from LinkedIn (in Wade time, that’s nearly an eternity!).
The invites piled up. The messages went unanswered (for a while). I had consciously bumped LinkedIn down the priority list.
The other day, I started responding to all 100 invites. Soon, I’ll resume checking in with my network. And lately I’ve been asking friends to help me connect with leaders at companies I want to reach.
But why spend any effort on LinkedIn? What’s in it for you?
1. A better job. You might be restless, or plain sick and tired of where you are. Having an updated profile and connecting with hiring managers will get you to a new job more quickly.
2. More money. Job offers from competitors can help you turn your good job into a great job with more perks, flexible hours, better title and yes, more money.
3. Stronger network. Connections matter. Keep up with who you’re already connected, and reach out to people you know, including colleagues, former colleagues, club members and fellow volunteers.
4. More sales. Do people understand what you do and what your company does? This is the place to show off your knowledge of what problems your customers face and how you solve them every day.
5. Year-round recruiting. Talent is in limited supply. Make sure you find who are the true superstars and take steps to bring them on board.
Those are compelling reasons to invest a few minutes daily on LinkedIn. It won’t cost you a dime (heck, you can even get a Pro account for free).
So while you wind down the year, get in the LinkedIn habit with these suggestions:
1. Update your profile. Look back at 2015. Add your accomplishments. Your new titles. Your new volunteer activities. Your new skills. Your awards. Your current headshot. And please update your contact info.
Pro tip: Spell out your accomplishments in terms of results (increase in sales, decrease in costs or time spent, etc.).
2. Delete your evil twin profiles. You left your old job in 2012. When you got to your new company, you forgot to update your LinkedIn contact info with your new email address. Oops. So you create a new LinkedIn profile from scratch.
Now you have two profiles, one badly out of date and one sorta out of date. Double oops.
3. Congratulate others. LinkedIn will let you know when one of your connections takes a new job or a promotion. Find those notifications either in the upper right corner of the main page or by email. Take a moment (a few seconds really) to Like or comment with Congratulations to your friend.
4. Share regular updates. Become a trusted resource within your community by sharing questions, articles, updates, photos, charts, tips and ideas. You might already be sharing these on other social networks, or on your blog or newsletter. Even if you’re logging in daily (which I hope you are), you can use a free service (Hootsuite or Buffer [referral link]) to schedule them in advance.
Help others by giving out good information for free. I share multiple updates every single day.
5. Promote your profile. Just put a link to your LinkedIn public profile on your business cards. Or email signature. Or other social media profiles. Or on your company blog or staff listing. The URL can be found along the lower edge of the top profile module.