This article originally ran in January 2020. With even more virtual networking opportunities this year, LinkedIn continues to serve as an important means of connection. We hope to see you online there soon!
January is a perfect time to update your profile across all social media. When it comes to your career, that platform is LinkedIn. As a network-focused platform, LinkedIn provides an opportunity to share and track your online resume as well as your career and educational story. Whether you are actively seeking a new position, looking to take control of your online narrative, or growing your network, it is a great site to get active and engage with your professional connections.
Here are a few tips for getting active on LinkedIn in the new year.
1. Complete your online profile.
Updating your resume, online and offline, is a practice you should complete at least once a year. If you wait until you are seeking a new position, you could forget valuable details. Even if you aren’t planning to change companies or positions any time soon, an updated profile is a must.
- Update your profile with a new picture at least every couple of years. Your image should look professional and reflect how you look today.
- Track your certifications, workshops, and conferences. Reflect on your year and include any professional development opportunities that you were able to complete.
- Tip: If you don’t have a profile yet, now is the time to start! Whether you are an experienced professional or a young student, LinkedIn is an important platform. Students 14 and up can join the network and start their profile. LinkedIn offers checklists for both high school and college students, who typically have few relevant work experiences to highlight, to build their page, and show off their best attributes to help them standout.
2. Evaluate your current connections.
Looking through your current connections can help highlight a few things. For example, people you don’t know, as well as people you are missing.
- Clean up your list and consider removing contacts you don’t know. We’ve all accepted random requests, right? Keep contacts that are important to you, but don’t feel like you need to keep contact with your best friend’s, sister’s, cousin-in-law’s real estate agent.
- Add new connections that you’ve met online, on the road, at conferences, and through colleagues.
- Consider adding new employees to your company—it’s a great way to welcome them and build your internal network!
- Were you blown away by the work or collaboration of a colleague this year? Consider posting a recommendation for them. Positive, unsolicited feedback is not only a great act of kindness, but also shows your appreciation and the power of reflecting on experiences.
- Still a student? Add your classmates, teachers, and others at your school. At New Hampton School, we work with our seniors to highlight connections that will be great contacts for them in the future as they seek internships, partnerships, educational pursuits, and other life interests.
3. Look at your updated alumni connections.
People are joining LinkedIn every day as their professional social network platform. Take the time to review your alumni connections. Schools offer valuable resources for connection through their common bonds and experiences.
- Stop by your college and high school pages to see who has joined from the years you attended, teachers and professors, and extend the opportunity to (re)connect.
- LinkedIn also helps you identify classmates in a multitude of ways, including by industry, geographic area, and even businesses. We’ve heard many stories of alumni connecting at work after finding out they went to New Hampton School several years apart! Visit your schools’ homepages and click on “Alumni” to begin.
- Not listed as an alumna/us of your school? Be sure to add all your educational experiences, including your high school, to your profile. LinkedIn will automatically include you as an alumna/us in the school’s listings.
4. Find a thought leader or mentor.
Personal growth and inspiration are something many of us seek throughout our careers. Consider finding a new thought leader, mentor, or mentee for the new year.
- LinkedIn offers tools to locate thought leaders in your industry. So, whether you are a fan of Daymond John, Simon Sinek, Ted Talks, Arianna Huffington, Brene Brown, or any number of professionals who share insight on LinkedIn, finding a new thought leader is a few clicks away.
- Have you started a new business or are thinking about a new side hustle? Look for connections in your contacts, alumni network, and second-degree connections in the fields of your choice to seek out advice.
- Are you approaching mid-career status or higher? Perhaps reaching out to younger members of your workplace and alumni offices at your alma maters could lead to an excellent opportunity to become a mentor to others on your career trajectory.
5. Get involved with shared content.
Aside from the networking benefits, LinkedIn also has shown itself to be a valuable platform for sharing articles and ideas. While the occasional meme still pops up in the feed, for the most part, the items shared on LinkedIn are often useful, thought-provoking, and of-the-moment topics. Scan your newsfeed, consider responding to trending conversations and share articles that you find helpful or interesting.
As a school, we share blog articles regularly but also track trends in education to stay up to date on the latest stories, innovations, and ideas in our field.
Reconnecting with New Hampton School
Did you know that New Hampton School also hosts an alumni group on LinkedIn? With seventy-two countries represented and over 7,000 alumni, the New Hampton School network is rich with expertise and connection possibilities. We need your help to grow our professional group. Join us in discussions, keep up with current events, and connect with other alumni, faculty, and staff, as this group continues to grow. Due to growing demand, the Alumni & Advancement Office continues efforts in building a networking event series, as well as initiatives such as our Alumni in Residence program, and the newly formed Alumni Association.
There is no better time to reconnect with today’s New Hampton School. We look forward to connecting with many of you in the months ahead and sharing more about these exciting updates to our programs.