It might be time to press the delete button...
With 500 million professionals in more than 200 countries gathering in one place online, setting up a decent LinkedIn profile should be the first thing on every businesswoman’s to-do list. However, if you’re like most people, it’s the social media network that you’re a part of, but mostly ignore, until the very moment you need it.
While we all know that maintaining a LinkedIn presence is important, copying and pasting your CV will only unlock a fraction of its potential. Sure you won't find any avocado on toast or influencer on holiday pictures on this social media platform, but you will find motivation, inspiration and a community of like-minded individuals looking to connect with.
And now, in an insightful new essay for Forbes, leadership strategist Adrian Dayton has revealed that we should all be asking ourselves one very important question before we even think about setting up an account: will I – indeed, can I – actually commit to maintaining it?
“A few years ago I was coaching a very successful young attorney about how to better use her LinkedIn account,” explains Dayton. “As she scanned her LinkedIn inbox, she noticed that a message from a New York Times reporter. This reporter was looking for a comment on a major story about international trade, her speciality.
“The problem? The message was months old, and she was just now seeing it. My advice to her was this: delete your account.”
Having a LinkedIn account and leaving it there to sit idle is actually doing your career more harm than good. You need to be committed to going on LinkedIn every single day just like you would Instagram or Facebook - this is non-negotiable if you're serious about your career.
The point is that although it's not "sexy" like the other social media platforms, it will prove the most useful to your career and potentially your whole life in the long run. It's here, that you will make the most important connections in your working life. There's a wealth of information on LinkedIn, and it's all for the taking.
So, if like us, this has come as a terrifying wakeup call, below are just some of the ways you can use LinkedIn to its full potential.
Unlike Instagram, you don't need to be checking LinkedIn every ten minutes but you should be tuning in on a daily basis to interact with your homepage feeds, in order to keep up to date on industry news and see what your contacts have been up to.
On a weekly basis, you should be using it to update others on your professional achievements and interests, not to mention adding new contacts. Just like you did in times of Facebook Old, you should be posting statuses on LinkedIn. Focus on sharing details about a promotion, a new project, or even a new article you've written. Not only will this help you to blow your own trumpet (if you won't, who will?), but it will also keep your profile looking fresh whilst showing potential future employers that you’re active and engaged.
Once a month, you should be updating your profile with passion or excitement that's the result of any new job responsibilities or professional accomplishments. You should also join some relevant LinkedIn Groups that won’t just keep you in the loop about what’s going on in your field, (like hearing about new jobs before anyone else), but, when you comment and make connections in that group, you’ll also get your name in front of the people you want to work for. It’s a win-win situation.
Most importantly of all? You should be making and maintaining relationships on LinkedIn. And before you ask...no, not like Tinder. Reach out to contacts (both old and new) whether it's to network, share an interesting find or simply take a trip down memory lane, this is something you should be aiming to do on a monthly basis.
At first glance, LinkedIn might seem like a stuffy, useless site that you only created a profile on because you felt like you had to. But, if you take some time to dig in, you’ll soon realize how undeniably powerful this platform can be. So sign into your account, put these tips to work, and prepare for some great results!
READ MORE: The Not-So-Subtle Art Of Getting Promoted