There’s so much to learn, and it’s never been easier or as convenient.
One of the most talked about things for people going through the COVID 19 “stay at home” event, is that people want to learn something new while they have the time.
Guitar lessons, crafting, cooking, gardening – people are looking for new activities to learn and do, not out of boredom, but to add meaning to this time spent on pause.
I think it really speaks to people’s resiliency, that they are trying to better themselves, and find worthwhile activities, even when they aren’t feeling at their best.
It’s a great way to uplift your mood and feel a sense of accomplishment.
It adds evidence to what I’ve always assumed, which is that people want to learn, improve, and be productive, as a general rule.
If you aren’t currently using LinkedIn, this is a great time to learn more about it and get engaged, so when life and work rev up again, you will be already involved and have expanded your network.
Anyone in the working world – happily employed, seeking new employment, or who has a business or non-profit, will benefit from knowing and using LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a dynamic social media platform focused on professional life. However, it is still a social media platform, so you will hear about birthdays and other celebrations like work anniversaries.
In many ways, LinkedIn replicates the typical work environment, where certain professional boundaries exist, that don’t exist in other forms of social media.
It’s a networking site, so the social conduct rules that apply to an in-person networking meeting also work in the world of LinkedIn.
As a general rule, you want to show up as your best professional self on LinkedIn, and also be yourself, so you are viewed as a person and not a set of skills.
The primary goal for LinkedIn users is relationship building. There are many kinds of relationships that can be cultivated by getting to know others on this highly used platform.
How highly used is LinkedIn? The recent stats that I found for 2020 were:
- LinkedIn has 675 million monthly users
- 40% of monthly active users use LinkedIn daily
- LinkedIn’s reported user goal is 3 billion worldwide
Given those numbers, anyone can find relationships to help with your professional needs, and maybe even a friend or two.
Can you find referral partners, collaborators, recruiters, customers, media outlets, and even old business school crushes on it? You bet.
Here are a few, possibly surprising LinkedIn tips that will help you to see where you might improve your profile or the way you are using LinkedIn:
LinkedIn is meant for relationship building, you will achieve more engagement if you show up as your real self. Of course, you want to let people know of your professional achievements, but you can add a dimension that you can’t include in your resume.
The “about” section provides plenty of room to express why your career choice matters, how it came to be, and some of the key insights and skills you’ve acquired along the way. How do you provide value as a result?
People are interested in what you do, but also why you do it. This adds a layer of humanity that gets others interested in engagement, and that’s what you want on LinkedIn. The platform provides little other than information without engagement, and it can offer so much more, with long term value.
Create a profile that is aspirational. Sure, you want to let people in on your past work experience, education and volunteer activities, but they should gain a sense of where you want to go, within your profile.
Don’t encourage employers, recruiters, or potential customers to guess at what you are moving toward in your career or business. You may be moderately unclear yourself, but you can still inform them as to the general path you are on. As you gain clarity, you can edit your profile accordingly.
While this may feel uncomfortable, it’s important for you to articulate what you want next. Putting it out there will encourage interaction. That will inform you as to next possible positions or steps, including what additional skills you might need (or not).
Keywords matter. As you look over the various sections of your LinkedIn profile, check for the keywords that will help you “get found” in a search. If someone is looking for a finance professional with specific expertise or skills, do the search terms they might use exist in your profile?
Add connections, like, share, and post information to increase your LinkedIn activity on a regular basis (10 minutes, a few times a week or daily is a good baseline).
Check your dashboard, which shows up right in the middle of your profile (when you “view profile”) and shows you the number of times you appeared in other people’s searches. Continue to experiment with new keywords to improve this metric.
LinkedIn is an evolving platform and if you use it regularly, you will see the changes as they develop and you can quickly take advantage of new features that just appear in your profile, as the platform changes.
And, it isn’t nearly as daunting or time consuming as you think, compared to other platforms. At least when I spend time on LinkedIn, I feel as if I’ve devoted time to professional development vs. going down rabbit holes that leave me feeling completely unproductive.
Use it to actively network and you will build a large network of professional connections whom you can help and who could be a resource for you at any point.
Your connections are crucial, and you have a way to connect without the fuss of even getting dressed, how can you not?