Link This, Link That, LinkedIn

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Screencap of Carmen's LinkedIn profile endorsements.

Can “endorsing” be a skill that I can endorse on my LinkedIn profile? Probably not.

A few weeks ago, me and my fellow summer interns had the opportunity to take part in a LinkedIn seminar. I thought, “I already have a nice LinkedIn profile. Why do I need to sit through a seminar about it?”

But after I stopped being stubborn and actually saw what the seminar was about, I went in and learned a few important things that need to be shared.

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Truth be told, I’ve used LinkedIn for less than a year and never put much thought into it. For me, it was a social way to show off your résumé.

In it, you could look for jobs, and you could contact people and join groups that would inundate your email with new comments and additions to their page. But, I found out, there’s more to it than that.

What’s Your LinkedIn Voice?

There’s a certain professional language that you have to master if you’re going to use LinkedIn. This language is more serious than a text, less wordy than an email, and shows off enough of your personality so people feel inclined to reply to your connection requests or inmails. It is a mix of your personality and your career goals, magically worded together to showcase yourself. Comedians have it easy.

A good place to show off this “voice” of yours is through the summary section on your LinkedIn profile. It doesn’t matter if your summary is in bullet point form or if you wrote it all in a paragraph. This is the first thing people are going to read about you and they need to see you through the writing.

Spruce Up Your Profile With Recommendations

The LinkedIn expert who taught our seminar mentioned that one should have at least four recommendation letters from employers or colleagues. Luckily, the site makes it “as easy as one click” to request a recommendation from a connection. I took advantage of this early, and I have more than four recommendation letters already. But if you are looking to add more to your profile, when you go and request the recommendation, let them know what to focus on.

Whether it’s timeliness, ability to work under pressure, or how personable you are, it’s good to give your recommender guidance so they help you acquire the image you want to create via LinkedIn.

It’s Not The About Amount Of Connections … Wait, Yes It Is

The more connections you have, the larger your network is. The larger your network is, the more people can contact you. Pretty simple, right?

Once you start connecting, it’s hard to stop. LinkedIn constantly reminds you of “People you may know” and you can just click to send the request. It can get pretty addicting. At least, this is how my network grew. I had just opened up my account and the site would keep finding people that I knew. And the more people I added, the more opportunities arose.

I am connected to high school classmates, college friends, and colleagues via LinkedIn. All of whom know me through different things. All of whom can maybe, possibly, in the near future, help me find the path to follow to achieve my career goals.

How do you use LinkedIn to get ahead? Share your story by commenting below.

(Photo: LinkedIn)

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