As we move toward a more virtual world, tools like LinkedIn have become immensely useful for networking and connecting with professionals. If you have been struggling to find mentorship or defining a clear career path, then you might find value in using LinkedIn. Here are some great tips that you can use to help you get started!
1. Enhance your profile! First impressions matter.
This is an extremely important first step because you should be customizing your LinkedIn profile and filling it out to the best of your abilities. Use a clean and professional headshot that shows your face. Feel free to showcase your personality!
In this step, you should definitely add more detail about your work history, your achievements, and more. When someone searches for your profile, they will feel more comfortable and will be more likely to reach out to you. Amongst a sea of empty profiles, yours will stand out.
2. Make connections with people in your network.
This is important to help increase your presence on LinkedIn. It’s important to develop connections because you will be able to reach out to more and more people who may be associated with your network (1st, 2nd, 3rd+ connections).
In the beginning, you may see that some profiles are inaccessible. That is because you don’t have anyone in your network that is associated with them. Make sure to reach out and connect to people in order to expand! This is a great way to begin conversations with people who are working in a career or job that you are looking to break into.
3. Engage in posts and create your own.
This may seem tedious and you might not want to do this step. But this is one of the best ways to engage and start conversations. Make sure to comment, like, and share other peoples’ posts by sharing your insights. When you make regular content, you may be able to converse with people in the comments and perhaps use posts as a way to talk to the author!
Tip: If you see someone who landed a position at a company and they make a post about their offer, then they usually tag the recruiter or the individual who helped them reach that. You can do some investigative work and reach out to them in order to ask questions!
4. Always write a note when you send a connection!
A lot of LinkedIn users will receive connection requests from random recruiters, unknown users, and sales pitches. It is important that you differentiate yourself by adding a note when you send your connection request. This is a great practice, especially if you are connecting with someone who really active on LinkedIn and has over 400+ connection requests.
Here is a sample template that you can use to send your first connection note:
I saw you [insert how you found their profile/common interest or background]. I am a senior at Baruch College and [insert information about yourself]. It’s so amazing to see your experiences and I’d love to connect with you to ask you a few questions about your journey! Thank you for reading!
Best, [First name]