Say goodbye to the days where professionals owned books filled with business cards of their contacts. LinkedIn is now the primary source for connecting professionally for job offers, advice, and updates. Although one may think that the CEO of their dream company is just one click away, LinkedIn users must utilize the site with proper etiquette. Here are some tips to make sure you are a connection worth having:
1. Profile Pictures -- Think of LinkedIn as a virtual professional conference. One would not show up to a conference in a crop top and shorts, therefore your profile picture should not give off that appearance. It is important to select a picture that represents a manner in which you would not be embarrassed to meet your future boss. Also, keep in mind that "selfies" can appear very sophomoric.
2. Your Profile -- Your profile is your opportunity to show off all of your professional accomplishments. If a job experience is not worth being featured on your resume, it should not be on your profile. On the other hand since this is not a resume, you have the chance to embellish more on the accomplishments you do choose to add.
3. Making Connections -- LinkedIn should be used to expand your professional network, not your personal one. It is not meant to be used as an opportunity to add everyone you have ever met, only add those who you feel could enhance your professional growth. When connecting with a professional, do not send lazy invites. It is crucial to personalize your invitation requests by reminding them who you are and saying that you would love to stay connected with them for reasons, "x,y,z".
4. Connecting with your Connection's Connections -- The beauty of LinkedIn is that you can see your expanded network easily. You may notice a classmate of yours is connected to an employee at a firm in which you want to intern for. Rather than sending a random connection invite, utilize the "request an introduction" feature. By doing so you are using LinkedIn to expand your network in a proper, professional manner.
5. Staying Relevant -- Remind your connections how great you are by being an active LinkedIn user. Be bold by commenting on posts they may share, congratulating them on promotions or new jobs, or by sharing content that you feel is appropriate. This will allow your connections to see that you are interested in their work, as well as demonstrating your gratitude for previous support.
By following these basic tips you will be not only be looking more professional, but acting more professional. Your network will expand properly and you will definitely be the connection worth having on LinkedIn!