Thank you for always being there for my career highs and lows. You have always encouraged me to grow my network and make new friends…I mean “connections.” I know it isn’t a contest, but I really do think I am winning in sheer numbers alone. Together, we have celebrated work anniversaries, birthdays, promotions and new jobs. As we move into the next stage of our relationship, I promise to continue sharing your story with professional groups and college students (as long as they ask me — I promise not to just show up randomly and speak…last time it got real awkward).
If you could do me one small favor in return, please pass along the sage advice below to your 450-million users.
1. First impressions are important. Your LinkedIn profile photo should be recent, professional and high-resolution. Stay away from selfies, group shots and your high school prom photo (no matter how good you looked).
2. Invest the time. Take 15 minutes a day to grow your LinkedIn relationships. Share an article, write an article, congratulate a colleague or just take in all the wonderful curated content. As in all relationships, you only get what you give.
3. Let your personality shine. Personalize your profile headline to be funny and memorable. Create a custom header image that accurately describes you. And remember, this is not where you share your cat photos; dog photos — yes, but no cats. Fluffy is sure to entertain on Facebook or Instagram.
4. Shoot for 100%. Don’t be a quitter. Fill out your profile with all of your professional experience, achievements and awards. Be sure to include your community engagement activities — committees, boards and other volunteer functions.
5. Don’t be selfish. As part of your 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn, invest in your connections. Recommend a former colleague, assist in making a connection and always take note of other’s accomplishments.
As we move into 2018, I am looking forward to exploring your industry groups, unique content, business services and high ranking in searches (right?).