3 Simple Ways to Become Active on LinkedIn
I've been consistently active on LinkedIn for over a year and a half. I had a LinkedIn profile since college but rarely used it. Through LinkedIn I've gotten more interviews for data analyst positions. And I've been able to meet a variety of people in the data community whether they're senior analysts or managers, or they're like me and looking to switch to data analytics. Overall it's been a great platform for me to meet and connect with other people.
Recently I've been getting a lot of questions about how to become active on LinkedIn. There's a lot of pressure on people who are looking for jobs to post. And that can be intimidating especially if you're not used to the platform. I'll be going over 3 simple and easy tips on how to become more active and how to optimize your profile. These are tips I think everyone should do. The tips are:
Why would you become more active? Two main reasons:
Meet and network with people in your field (especially useful if you're switching careers);
Stay up-to-date on news/trends in your industry; and
If you want to see you how I've increased my chance of getting an interview (one of the most important was being active on LinkedIn) check out this article. And if you're more interested in building a following on LinkedIn rather than being generally active check out this article.
Tip # 1 - Comment on other posts
By commenting I don't mean writing "thanks for sharing" or "insightful". Write comments that drive conversation or talk about how this post help you. Below are a few suggestions:
What you liked about their post (ex. writing style, advice, tone, resources they provided, etc.)
What you agreed or disagreed with and why
Share your own experience/s related to the post topic.
Answer any questions they asked in the post
Share resources they may find interesting/helpful
This is one of the best ways to meet and engage with other people in the community. You're able to have conversations and learn more about people in your network or outside of it. It's also a way to build real relationships with people. For me (and other people) when someone comments on my post I generally like to add them as a connection.
Tip # 2 - Connect with other people in your community
This is especially important when you're below that 500 connections. When I first started out I was very open about accepting and sending connection requests. I usually sent a personalized message with my connections especially if the person add a lot of followers.
I have a template for my personalized invites. It has three parts:
The person's name (spell it right) and a general greeting;
Sentence or two on how I found them, what I admire about them, etc.; and
Why I want to connect or what we have in common
Below is an example:
"Hey Sally. I recently listened to [Podcast]'s episode where you where a guest on. I loved hearing about your journey from education to data analytics. And how you used your transferrable skills as a teacher to pivot careers. I would love to connect, I also studied to become a teacher. - Kelly"
I also had a general list of criteria for making new connections because I focused on quality and value rather than getting as many connections as possible. I typically sent connection request to people who are:
In the data field or are interested in data; and
Active on LinkedIn, they don't necessarily have to be creating content but they do have to generally be active on the platform
This is a guideline and sometimes I connect with people who are in a completely different field than me. But generally this are the two main things I look for when finding new connections. Either way figure out what kind of people you're looking for to grow your network. I know plenty of people who will accept any connection request and others who are more specific about who they accept. I don't think either approach is better than the other but this is my approach.
Tip # 3 - Optimize your profile
While this tip is less about engaging with others, it's still vital for anyone who is active on LinkedIn. It makes easier for someone who's looking at your profile to determine if they want to add you to their network. Or if it's a recruiter or hiring manager they can get a better sense of who you are professionally. Below are some things I updated right away when becoming more active:
Professional photo. no obvious looking selfies and make sure your face is in clear view
Headline. Here's a template I've seen: [Job title] @ [company] | Skills 1, Skill 2, Skill 3 | Sentence how what you can help businesses do
About section. There's no specific way to write in about section find a style that works for you. My about section is broken up into sections and uses emojis for lists. But you should include:
Basics about yourself like your title and industry
Work experience or projects you've done
Skills you have
And a way to contact you or if you're open to work
Work experience. Even better if you include specific bullet points and skills for each experience
Education. What school and degree you have (if you have one)
Skills. Listing the skills that are important in your industry
Those are the main sections I would add first. It's better to have more detail but this is what I would prioritize. I have all of my sections filled out including license and certifications, volunteer work, projects, and organizations. The more it's filled out the better. If you want a comprehensive guide on how to optimize your profile check out this article: How to Build an Amazing LinkedIn Profile [15+ Proven Tips] by Austin Belack.
Notice how I didn't say you need to post. Personally, I've enjoyed posting content on LinkedIn. It's let me meet a variety of people people and gain profile views. But I don't think it's necessary for everyone. If you want to post go ahead, if you don't then don't do it. But being active helps tremendously.
If you're just starting out I would recommend having a set goal or a time period for being on LinkedIn. For instance when I was just beginning I would set aside either 20 minutes in the morning to be on the platform. I would also set aside specific engagement goals. Below are the goals I would do every weekday (because I would step away from LinkedIn on weekends):
Comment on at least three posts.
React to at least five posts
Connect with at least five people in the data community
Hope this helps! Feel free to follow me on LinkedIn for more content and tips.