Get the most out of LinkedIn

Until recently my professional social media presence was exclusively on Twitter (@matthewxjoseph). That was until I had a conversation with a successful and reputable professional—Rita Oates—who told me I was missing out by not being on LinkedIn. I knew of the site but had never joined. When I started to investigate, I realized LinkedIn is the top online site for professional, social, and career networking; it has millions of members in more than 200 countries. Once I signed up, I quickly recognized that LinkedIn functions as an online directory of professionals and organizations and facilitates the process of professional networking.

I joined to grow my professional network as I expand my reach and excitement for writing and presenting. Because I was a little late to the party, I spent a great deal of time getting started. LinkedIn can be intimidating for new users, so I’d like to share strategies to encourage others to join and grow their professional networks. Here are a few steps to help you grow your professional learning network (PLN).

Create a strong profile
People will check out your profile as the first step in connecting. That’s their first impression, so make it a good one. A professional-looking picture is a must-have. Next, create a summary statement to serve as an “elevator pitch” that speaks to your skills, motivation, and interests. People want a quick sample of who you are so get to the point and make it memorable. Once that’s complete, add your education, certifications, and publications. You are building your online cover letter and resume, not just for a job but for all the opportunities out there. Think of your LinkedIn profile as your professional brochure.…Read More