Many of my resume clients are intimidated by LinkedIn. Another social media platform? Who has the time?? But LinkedIn remains the world’s largest business network, and getting on this bandwagon can be simple. Here are 3 easy ways to jump in and boost your LinkedIn engagement.
As I’ve written about before, a strong LinkedIn presence is a career development must-have. Even if you’re not an active networker or social media buff, LinkedIn is important because hiring managers, employers, and clients alike use LinkedIn to vet potential contacts.
Once you’ve got a solid profile in place, the second step to leveraging LinkedIn is Engagement. LinkedIn strategist and speaker Maria Fafard says engagement is one of the most misunderstood, underestimated, and underutilized elements of LinkedIn use. Engagement strategies keep you in the loop, keep you prevalent in your connections’ minds, and reinforce your personal brand. In short, they position you as a professional who is, well, engaged.
Here are 3 super simple ways Fafard recommends to establish an active presence on LinkedIn and engage with your network:
When you log into LinkedIn, your home page shows a feed of comments, status updates, and articles from your connections and people you follow. Regularly spend a few minutes scanning through your feed and leaving comments. You’ll stay on top of professional news and trending content in your industry, and you’ll put yourself on the radar of key people in your network.
Endorse and Recommend Your Connections
What goes around comes around, so spread some love among your LinkedIn connections. Log into LinkedIn and navigate to the profile of one of your connections. In most cases, a list of skills will appear right under the header section of your connection’s profile. Select the skills you would like to endorse and click on the yellow “Endorse” button. (Alternatively, scroll down to the Skills section of your connection’s profile and click on the plus sign next to each skill you want to endorse them for.) Bingo. Your connection will receive a notification that you’ve endorsed them, and they just might return the favor.
For closer connections, take it a step further and provide a recommendation. In the header section of your connection’s profile, click on the arrow to the right of the “Send a Message” button, then select the “Recommend” option in the drop-down menu. Write a brief recommendation of that person’s professional accomplishments. It doesn’t need to be fancy; short, sweet, and specific does the job.
These recommendations are super useful. (For someone like me who runs a referral-based business, they are GOLD!) You’re doing your connection a great favor and establishing yourself as a service-minded professional.
A word of caution: write recommendations only for people whom you have worked with closely or have done business with. Writing recommendations for someone you don’t know is unethical and misleading.
Post a Status Update
On your LinkedIn home page, click on the “Share an update” button right above your newsfeed. But remember, this isn’t Facebook. Think twice before posting an update about your pet, your lunch, or your weekend plans. The updates on LinkedIn need to be related to and support your professional brand. Fafard recommends sharing curated and original updates.
- A link to an informative article (with a sentence or two explaining why it attracted your attention).
- Heads up about an upcoming professional event.
- News of a recent professional project or workplace win.
- Updates about your company or industry.
- Insights from a recent training session.
Keep the tone of your updates light and humble, not overly self-promotional.
Other ways to engage include joining and participating in LinkedIn groups, mentioning your connections in your status updates using the @ (mention) function, commenting on articles by your connections, and publishing articles using LinkedIn publishing platform. We’ll share more about these in future posts.
Now it’s your turn. How would you describe your LinkedIn engagement? Answer the poll below and let us know!