Summer is the perfect time to do some work on your LinkedIn account. Don’t have one yet? You probably should get on that.
There are an array of things that you could do to improve your profile: add to your summary or position descriptions, add skills, endorse others for their skills, add projects & coursework completed, join groups, research companies, and connect with others. Today, I’ve got 3 tips that will contribute to your success on LinkedIn.
1. Personalize the request to connect. You have the opportunity to customize the request to connect and it is to your benefit to do that customization. It’s a little easier when connecting with someone you know well. That request could be along the lines of, “I would like for us to also connect on LinkedIn.” Pretty easy. It gets trickier if you don’t know the person as well. You will want to include the common thread that links the two of you together. Did you meet at a conference or another event? Do you belong to the same group on LinkedIn? If you are wanting to connect with staff or faculty on campus, did you meet with them in-person or take a class that they taught? Make it super easy for the person you want to connect with to understand WHY they should say “yes” to connecting with you. The default, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn,” just really doesn’t cut it.
2. Ask for and write recommendations. The recommendations feature on LinkedIn is a great way to add credibility to your profile. They provide written evidence about the type person and worker you are. Recommendations can come from professors, supervisors, co-workers, and even group members from class projects. The “ask” for a recommendation should also be personalized. Express WHY you want that person to write a recommendation for you. Do you want them to address a specific skill set or even a project that you worked on together? Last week I received a recommendation request and the individual had a great “ask” message. The message clearly spelled out a specific skill set to address from the time that we had worked together. The message even included a link to an article about formatting a LinkedIn recommendation. I highly suggest that you check that out. Besides asking for a recommendation, you should also write them for others. You don’t even have to wait for someone to ask for the recommendation. If you’re asking for someone to do something for you, you have to be willing to do it for others.
3. Join and contribute to groups. There are LinkedIn groups for just about everything. Groups could be based on interests, school-related, or professional associations. This is your opportunity to show your voice in your particular industry. Find an article, share it and comment on it. Comment on others’ posts. Ask questions – especially when the group has alumni members from your school. You could find some great connections in a group. I recommend checking out the group we host. It’s a spot for current students, University staff/faculty, alumni, and recruiters to come together and converse. We’re always looking for new contributing members. Check it out here.
So there you have it, 3 easy tips for improving your LinkedIn profile. Here are other posts we’ve written about LinkedIn: