When it comes to securing a job in the current labor market, the adage of "it's all about who you know" especially rings true.
Networking is a big part of securing a job and advancing a career, which is why networking and connecting with other professionals should be happening all the time.
At the end of July, LinkedIn released its new LinkedIn Profile on Mobile, which redesigned the way its mobile app displays users' profiles
Making the change wasn’t easy. In my conversation with the LinkedIn mobile team Tomer Cohen, head of the mobile product team, expressed that your profile “is the heart of LinkedIn and any change would require a lot of care.” Krista Canfield, mobile product PR lead, likened the process to “going to your favorite restaurant and finding out they changed the recipe to your favorite dish.”
Here are some thoughts on how to best use LinkedIn (LNKED) and its new tool to put your best professional foot forward:
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Keep Your “Open” Sign On
Never have an incomplete or out-of-date profile on career networking sites. It’s like having a "closed" sign in your window, explains Canfield.
Your profile should showcase your best professional story and what you have to offer. The only way to do this is with a complete, accurate and up-to-date profile. Make sure you regularly review you profile for accuracy, and always update it as your career evolves. Remember, your contacts are notified when you make updates, so it’s a good way to keep your professional network abreast of your progress.
Keep Your “Top of Mind” Relevant
In the modern mobile world, your professional identity is no longer centered solely on your job, but also around what you have to say. Social media has provided us all with an avenue for sharing real-time commentary on anything and everything going on around us. The challenge is being relevant.
LinkedIn focuses on your professional persona, which means your commentary needs to be relevant to the people you are connected with and consistent with your knowledge, experience and professional identity. Make sure your updates are meaningful and showcase your expertise in a way that adds value to your network. Save the pop culture stuff for Facebook.
Keep Your Connections Warm
It’s easy to lose touch, particularly if you have a large network. LinkedIn has several tools designed to help you keep your contacts warm without a lot of effort.
Think of the contacts that show up in your “who’s viewed me” as a signal that these individuals were thinking about you and use it as an opportunity to reach out. Also, use endorsements to keep on the radar of colleagues you have worked with in the past. Just be sure you mean it!
Benchmark Your Trajectory
I’ve always been an advocate of looking to those who have gone before you for advice.
A new way to do this is by checking out the profiles of those who have successfully accomplished what you are seeking to do. Search for those who have put together the kind of career you are pursuing and take a look at how they got there. If their profile is complete, it can give you some real insight into the path that led them to where they are now. And, don’t be afraid to reach out.
Refresh Your Memory on the Go
Before walking into your next meeting or networking event, you may want to hop on LinkedIn Mobile for a quick refresher on the backgrounds of those in attendance. The information you can pull from a mobile profile can be tremendously helpful. Finding that you have a past employer in common or went to the same high school may just give you that leg-up in turning that connection into a meaningful relationship.
Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD is a CEC certified executive coach trained in organizational psychology. Dr. Woody is author of The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy and the new on-line course The YOU Plan for Career Change on Udemy. Dr. Woody is the founder of Human Capital Integrated (HCI), a firm focused on management and leadership development. Dr. Woody also sits on the advisory board of the Florida International University Center for Leadership. Follow Dr. Woody on Twitter and Facebook.