My friends keep on teasing me that I am old-fashioned because I don’t have a solid presence on LinkedIn. Is LinkedIn all that important and if yes, how do I approach building my presence there?
Currently, LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site - that does pull some weight. As such, it's a great information tool that can be critical to cultivating a strong network.
I would recommend using LinkedIn as a personal branding and inbound marketing tool. I recommend thinking about three key things as you build your LinkedIn presence:
Differentiation. You want to first prioritize who is your key target audience and think about their needs/wants. Then compelling communicate your unique value proposition to solve these needs or wants (essentially what you do and how do you do it differently). Use hard evidence to support your value e.g. accomplishments at work, certifications/special training and specialized skill-sets that you bring to your key target audiences.
Optimization. You want to boost your search rank and presence on LinkedIn. That’s one way for your key target audience to quickly find you. Emphasize unique skills/expertise/keywords in strategic places such as your headline, profile summary, skills and expertise section and in your professional experience section.
Strategic Engagement. Grow your LinkedIn presence with people with whom you want to have a real relationship. Don’t play the numbers game! After you start strategical building your network on LinkedIn, ensure that you put some clear process around engaging that network (communicating with them regularly, finding ways to add value such as sharing tips or insights that is relevant to them and even joining and taking part in professional groups that interests you)
Finally, make sure you try to complete all sections on LinkedIn as best as you can.
Hope that helps!
SoFi's Career Services Team