Kudos to you if you’ve successfully created your LinkedIn profile! If you haven’t, it’s not too late to check out the first part of this post, Myth vs. Fact: Building Your LinkedIn to catch up on the good stuff. Now, it’s time to talk about the myths and facts of using LinkedIn!
1. Being active on LinkedIn just means updating my profile and liking posts: MYTH
LinkedIn is a great networking resource right at your fingertips, so use it!
Besides updating your profile and liking random posts, there is so much more you can do. Comment, share, or do both! Better yet, create a post! Now, I know you may have some doubts, and think “I don’t have anything to say” or “Who am I to post about this or that?” Well, speak from your experiences because they are… well, yours. Post about:
- A great opportunity you had
- A professional event you attended
- Something that inspires or interests you
- What you are doing to promote growth within yourself
- Latest industry trends you’re intrigued by
Let your connections know your vision for your future and what money moves 🤑 you’re taking to get there! Your connections and recruiters can see your activity so tailor your actions to demonstrate those goals.
2. I should just follow random things that interest me on LinkedIn: MYTH
I mean, you have the freedom to follow whatever and whoever on LinkedIn, but remember, LinkedIn is a tool – a tool that, if used properly, can help you hit your targets better than if you were blindly hammering on those follow buttons.
Instead, think about the industry or industries you’re interested in and follow those companies. Follow topics and #hashtags related to your goals. This way, your interactions, and activities are tailored to what you want recruiters to see!
Don’t forget to follow the companies you apply to!!!
3. I should only connect with people I know: MYTH
Nah, fam. A lot of y’all are hesitant to connect with people you don’t know on LinkedIn. However, don’t forget that LinkedIn is not just about maintaining those connections but also about making new ones!
That being said, you don’t have to connect with anyone and everyone… tailor what you do to who you want to become. So besides connecting to friends, professors, and co-workers, consider connecting with people (and specifically alumni) in the industries you want to learn more about or be involved in. Connect with people who are in the positions you hope to see yourself in one day. Maybe start a conversation and develop that new LinkedIn connection into a networking relationship!
4. I should be careful of what media and content I post: FACT
While showing your projects and what you have worked on is highly encouraged, don’t forget to watermark your work or ensure in some way that you’re claiming ownership so you receive proper credit! Maybe post a sample and not the whole thing. An abstract of a research paper is a great place to start; then, if people are interested in learning more, it can be used as a conversation starter!
5. I can’t message people I don’t know on LinkedIn: MYTH
This. Is. A. Biggo. Myth. To all the seniors and recent alumni who often ask us to connect them to employers… You CAN initiate the conversation!
We believe in you. Trust us, it is better coming from you. Plus, that is what LinkedIn is for – networking and connecting! Send a customized connection request – short and sweet, inviting, and interesting. When they accept, follow up with a thank you and strike up a conversation! Ask them how they got into their industry or maybe bond over similar passions.
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal” -Henry Ford
So don’t let your fear get in the way and dig back into what you learned from your comm class! If you don’t get a response, that’s okay! Shake it off!
“When someone tells me ‘no,’ it doesn’t mean I can’t do it, it simply means I can’t do it with them” -Karen E. Miller
BONUS: You can find fellow alumni and search by major, company, location, etc. Best part is you already have something in common with them: Chapman!
There are millions of people on LinkedIn. If a conversation doesn’t seem to bear fruit with one individual, try another! There are people out there who want to share their experiences; you might just have to transfer the time you spend looking at random Instagram profiles into looking at some LinkedIn ones!
To my fellow undergraduates, plenty of our professors have given us these encouraging words of wisdom: Use your student card! Not your physical student ID but the fact that you are a curious student who wants to learn more about an industry or career path to supplement what you are learning in your courses.
More Myths vs. Facts from our Career Team!
6. Everyone is on LinkedIn: MYTH (Haley Wragg’s Career Tip!)
As much as we career peeps love using LinkedIn, we know not everyone uses the platform. Here are some other networking platforms that you might find useful:
- Education: EDJOIN
- Startups: Gust
- General Networking: Meetup and even social media like Twitter and Instagram!
7. LinkedIn and Facebook are basically the same: MYTH (Aaron Vilaubi’s Career Tip!)
LinkedIn & Facebook are similar as in LinkedIn is a social media platform, yes, but they are not entirely the same. Stop treating it like it is. People can see your most recent activity and see that you told John Smith at XYZ Company his viewpoint on an article was ‘[insert expletive] dumb/stupid🤬.’ It’s a bad look, it will catch up to you, and it will not make you more popular. That’s not how you want to go viral on this platform.
8. People like winners: FACT (Aaron Vilaubi’s Career Tip!)
It is okay to share your professional accomplishments, credentials, guest speaking features, the research you accomplished, art gallery features, and, ABOVE ALL, the team you rock with and THEIR achievements. Gas them up!
Comment on their posts. Acknowledge their accomplishments. Showing off your ability to be a team player is one of the easiest ways to demonstrate a highly desirable skill (teamwork/working in teams) and a low-key BIG LinkedIn flex.
9. LinkedIn is dumb: MYTH (Aaron Vilaubi’s Career Tip!)
Uh, no, it’s not. It’s arguably one of the most accessible ways to obtain information on companies you like, admire, and are interested in. It can also help you increase your network without having to physically leave your bed and can lead you to possible internship and job opportunities!
10. I gotta do this solo: MYTH (Haley Wragg’s Career Tip!)
HOLD UP, WAIT A MINUTE!
LET ME PUT SOME… career team help… IN IT! Don’t forget that we are your
~✨ Career Connection for Life✨ ~
As in, we are here for YOU, always. We are here to offer career support and resources to empower and guide you on your professional journey.
I hope these helped you understand the crazy world of social media – personal and professional – that we live in today a little better! Still got questions? Make an appointment with our staff at the Office of Career and Professional Development! Remember to follow our office on LinkedIn for more blogs, events, and updates if you haven’t already.