Social media is incredibly important in today’s professional world. Nowadays, every business venture and every opportunity will circle back to your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn as a military spouse is a valuable resource. It is not just a place to find a job or get help with your resume—and it’s a great place for those things—it is so much more to it than that. Military spouses already have an amazing network to use as a jumping-off point, but utilizing LinkedIn for your professional career can help you tremendously as you go forward.
6 Things You Need to Know to Master LinkedIn as a Military Spouse
MySECO (Spouse Education and Career Opportunities)
All military spouses should join MySECO and have someone on their team look at their profile. If you have PCSed within the last year you can get a free year of LinkedIn premium if you create a MySECO account and follow the steps. The last step before you get your free year of LinkedIn is when someone from MySECO works you with on your profile one-on-one. They give you tips on how to improve it and make sure you have the essential pieces. It is an easy process but does take about a month to get an appointment. But that gives you time to get your profile created and starting to connect with others.
Create the Best LinkedIn Profile
There are various schools of thought on how to create your profile and what information you want to include. The basics are you need a photo (headshot preferably), your location, a summary about what you currently do, your work history, degrees or schooling, awards, and volunteer work. These may vary based on your career. LinkedIn will prompt you on what to do. You can also check out the profiles of people in your field and see what they have done. Pick and choose from what you see to create a great profile.
Build Your LinkedIn Network
Building your network is the next step on LinkedIn. Finding connections is similar to adding friends on Facebook. Keep in mind that LinkedIn is a professional network and you are more likely to connect with people you may not know yet, but who would be a good addition to your network. Your career goals will affect your strategy for building connections.
Join Groups on LinkedIn
The next step in your quest to master LinkedIn is to join groups. Favorite groups for military spouses are the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), ACP’s Military Bridge, American Corporate Partners, and your branch’s military page. Another great way to find groups is to look at your connections profile to see what groups they are a part of. Depending on your career goal, there may be many groups out there—or you may need to start one.
Master LinkedIn by Sharing
The best way to start getting traction on LinkedIn is to post regularly. There are a few ways to start this, and many daily prompt lists on Pinterest. Do a daily challenge to get yourself started. Ask questions. Share news. Don’t just share a link and then close the tab, LinkedIn is more about interacting and helping one another. You really can build a community. But avoid political content—unless this is your career path.
Engage with Others on LinkedIn
Now that you have started to build your connections and share posts the next step is to interact with the content of your connections. If you start to engage with others, they will recognize you and take notice. You can also take the extra step to endorse people you know and the people you begin to know once you start engaging with others. The unspoken rule is that if you endorse someone, they should take the time to endorse you as well. This doesn’t always happen, but it can help you get endorsements and also people will notice you took the time to endorse them.
LinkedIn is a great place to connect with others if you are looking for a job, but even when you already have a job, are starting a business or maybe just planning for someday in the future. You can start to harness the power of LinkedIn by connecting with those in the military community on LinkedIn.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out The Changing Landscape of Military Spouse Employment
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