Grow Your Professional Network: LinkedIn Edition

The process of joining the professional world is filled with many steps that must be thoughtfully completed in order to reach the next level. For example, the email address you’ve been using since you were 12 or in college probably isn’t the best way to present yourself to employers. Cleaning up your social media accounts is recommended as well, so one wild night years ago doesn’t keep you from your dream job.

After optimizing these sites for a potential employer’s viewing, it’s wise to move on and spend your time with a different, more professional site: LinkedIn. This is one account you don’t want to ignore or keep bare; the more content you have, the better you seem online.

The importance of growing your network

How many friends you have on Facebook won’t impress anyone in the job hunt. When recruiters and employers search for you on LinkedIn, you want to make a good impression. This can be accomplished with a complete profile and more connections. If your profile is found, but large chunks of information are missing, like education or employment, you could be easily dismissed.

When you make a connection, they are listed as ‘1st Connection.’ Connections of connections are listed as 2nd and 3rd. The more connections you’ve made, the more likely you are to show up in searches.

Now, this doesn’t mean just adding anyone slightly relevant to your chosen profession. You still need to know the person, or at least be acquainted with them enough they’ll have some idea of who you are when you request to connect. This is where in-person networking is beneficial to meet and begin relationships.

Staying engaged

Because it is a social media platform, you want to be an engaged user. This means posting updates, commenting on the posts of others you’re connected to, and following companies and organizations of interest to you.

Help people find you

An easy way to get connections is to include a link in your email signature. Whomever you’re emailing will have quick access to all of your professional information. It can be the starting point for a new professional relationship.

Take your next step with Smoothstack

You might have the best LinkedIn account, yet find yourself getting passed over jobs for IT professionals with more experience. That’s where Smoothstack comes in. Our 12-week program is designed to prepare recent grads and veterans by providing on-the-job tech training so when you leave, you’re prepared to do work beyond entry level. Start your career and contact one of Smoothstack’s representatives today.

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