Maintaining a social media account can feel like a second job to some, while others utilize it as a break in their day-to-day work routine. Is engaging on social media distracting you from you work? Or, could your average screen time be aiding in your career development?
If you’re maintaining a current LinkedIn account and abiding by best practices, odds are your social media engagement is actually helping your career.
Why is Having a LinkedIn Account Valuable?
Social recruiting is now standard practice when seeking employment, with 92 percent of surveyed recruiters using it as part of their process—87 percent using LinkedIn specifically. When you invest the time into upholding a sound LinkedIn account, you position yourself to get the first crack at the best jobs. Even if you’re not actively seeking a new job, LinkedIn acts as the platform for you to be approached about available opportunities.
Recruiters aren’t the only ones looking at your profile. A well-kept LinkedIn account increases your visibility, enabling you to connect with like professionals to build a well-rounded network.
Do I Need to be Active on my LinkedIn Account?
Just because you open a 401k doesn’t mean you’ll be set for retirement when you’re 65—you must make contributions. Similarly, you need to regularly engage on LinkedIn in order to reap the benefits. So yes, being active on LinkedIn is a must, but it doesn’t have to be an everyday occurrence. Any interaction with your profile counts as engagement.
Tip: People love to reciprocate on social media! The more you like/comment on their posts, the more they’re likely to do the same with your posts.
You might be wondering who you should be interacting with?
Being involved on LinkedIn doesn’t mean you should be solely interacting with the recruiters at your dream firm. It’s always good to build a diverse community by connecting with varied professionals. It can also be helpful to follow lead accounting brands. Not only will this jazz up your news feed, it will allow you the opportunity to observe examples of good LinkedIn tactics—a good ole win-win!
Maintaining a Profile that STANDS OUT
So, you have your account, you’re actively engaging with the right people and companies, now how do you get noticed? For starters, ensure all your information is up to date. Individuals and recruiters often filter searches by industry, company, location, and/or job position. If any of these details are outdated on your profile, you could be missing out on opportunities—not to mention all the unnecessarily InMail you may be receiving.
While we’re on the topic of searching for profiles, go ahead and create a vanity URL. LinkedIn makes this really easy and it looks much better than a long-winded list of characters and numbers lagging behind LinkedIn’s domain name.
Once you’ve ensured people can find you on LinkedIn, it’s time to showcase your professional appearance. Here’s a few ways you can do so:
- Have a professional headshot. If it aligns with your personal brand, feel free to have a little fun with your pose! Just make sure your headshot is high resolution, taken straight on (please no selfies), and contains a neutral background.
- Apply a background photo. Use this opportunity to give some personality to your brand!
- Take advantage of your headline. It acts as your elevator pitch when people visit your profile. Make sure to use clear, concise language to communicate concrete and measurable results of what you do. Have a website or other social profile? Include external links where appropriate.
- Write compelling content. You can directly create the following types of content on LinkedIn: posts, videos, and articles. Unlike most social platforms in which photo posts perform best, text-only posts seem to outperform other options on LinkedIn. You’ll also want to weave in relevant keywords and create content that provides value and communicates your brand.
Note: Hashtags are back on LinkedIn—so use them! Social Media Today suggests you use no more than five to six hashtags for posts of any length.
- Highlight your skills and passions. Update the following sections on your profile: languages spoken, volunteer work, honors and awards, skills and endorsements, causes you care about, etc. Make sure you order your skills by relevancy.
- Ask for recommendations. (It might seem like an awkward ask, but it’s worth it!) Having four to five recommendations from influencers or established professionals will do wonders for your credibility. This is especially important as the skills required for CPAs are changing perhaps faster than ever. Show off your soft skills in addition to the ones that helped you pass the exam!
Note: you can always delete recommendations you don’t like.
Action Drives Results
Whether you log 2+ hours on social media daily or can’t be bothered to scroll past the first page on your feed, I encourage you to dedicate some time specifically to “tidying up” your LinkedIn account. You’ll likely be surprised by the increase in traffic to your page after simply updating your information.
We’ve readied you with the tools needed to maintain a stellar LinkedIn account—it’s up to you to act and drive results.