The First Three Things – How to Get Started on LinkedIn

“People keep inviting me on LinkedIn, but I don’t know how to get started”.

I hear this regularly, and it seems that the “LinkedIn profile” can be daunting if you’re new to the site. So here’s 3 things to do, at a minimum, to get started

1) Add a photo. I’ve had 3 or 4 photos on my profile; I was never happy with it until my current one. So I understand why people hesitate to add their photo. But it’s critical if you want people to take you seriously on LinkedIn. I typically ignore a profile if there’s no photo. If you have a local photography store, they’ll probably be able to take a respectable photo for only a few dollars (think “passport photo”). CVS will do it for $10 – but with varying results!

2) Add all companies you’ve worked at. That’s how most people will recognize you, since LinkedIn is a professional site. For a quick start, just add the company name and your job title. You can always go back later and add details of each job (which I highly recommend). But for now, the company and job title will get you started.

3) Connect to 10 people a week. The power of LinkedIn is the the multiplier effect of your network. The more people you connect to, the broader your overall network. There are various opinions on who to link to – from “anyone I’ve ever met”, to “only people I know very well” and everything in between. That’s a personal decision and depends on your goals and personality. But to get started, pick 10 people a week for the first few weeks, and you’ll soon have a respectable network to build on.

LinkedIn is no longer just a job-search site. It’s a great information resource and discussion site, which becomes increasingly rich and valuable as your network expands.

There are many other ways to expand your profile and become active on LinkedIn – once you get these 3 steps under your belt, you’ll feel more confident in moving forward. I recommend reading “LinkedIn Success” by Wayne Breitbath to take you to the next stage.

Let me know if you need help developing your LinkedIn profile.

Published by Steve Cummins

VP of Marketing at Opengear; B2B marketing professional with global experience, specializing in technology products; Digital marketing enthusiast. Opinions are my own.

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