Even if you love your property management job, don’t overlook the importance of having an up-to-date LinkedIn profile and using the site regularly. LinkedIn is considered by many the #1 place for business professionals across many industries to display their resumes, references, education, and interests, and also to get social. It’s great for finding new clients, networking with others in your field, and staying on top of the latest trends in property management and real estate.
Additionally, creating a LinkedIn profile (or updating your current one) puts you in a better position next time you’re searching for a property management job. Today, using LinkedIn to find a job is as essential as having a business card or resume.
Whether you’re moving to a new city, looking for a new company, or founding a new company, a career-changing event of some sort is inevitable. Build a LinkedIn profile today, and you’ll have one of the most important tools ready to use when you start your job search, which is especially helpful if your work separation is sudden.
When you sign up for LinkedIn, one of the first things you’ll see is a blank profile with a forest of empty fields to fill out. It can look intimidating, which leads to my first tip on getting started with LinkedIn…
#1: Start Small, But Get Big Returns
To market yourself effectively with LinkedIn, you’ll have to inventory your accomplishments, awards, community involvement, and roles and responsibilities. That’s not something you can do in one day, especially if you’ve been in the workforce for a while. Often people look at others’ completed profiles, see the richness of the information, and have trouble getting started because they see a marathon ahead.
That’s why when you start creating a LinkedIn profile, my advice is to break the process down into shorter bursts or sprints. Start small and with the basics: where you work, a professional-looking head shot, and your contact information. By getting your profile online immediately, recruiters and potential employers can do a LinkedIn search to find and contact you if an opportunity arises.
Next month, add your employment history to your profile. The following month, add explanations of the challenges you faced at each job and how you overcame them, and the month after that, enter your professional associations, and so on.
It’s better to start small and build a head of steam over time than to procrastinate. I think it helps to look at your LinkedIn profile as a living document. Because the market continuously changes and you’re building new skills, your LinkedIn profile is always a work in progress.
#2: Ask for Recommendations Early & Often
A great LinkedIn profile includes both recommendations you’ve received and those you’ve given to others. Contact current or former clients, co-workers, employers, and even family members, and ask for a recommendation.
Additionally, search for these people on LinkedIn, and give them recommendations. Many people will return the favor. People are extraordinarily busy, though, and sometimes it just takes them a while to get back to you. If someone’s endorsement is particularly important to you, contact them again in a couple of weeks, and remember the line between persistence and pushiness.
If you’re a manager, why not add recommendations to the profiles of deserving team members? It’s a simple gesture that goes a long way in terms of employee satisfaction and retention.
#3: Get Social in LinkedIn Groups Right Away
LinkedIn has countless special-interest groups, and there are plenty focused on property management and real estate. Groups are an excellent way to stay on top of the emerging trends in your field and local market, network with other industry professionals, and find new clients and customers.
Join as many LinkedIn groups as you like and check out the hot topics of conversation. At some point, though, to expand and deepen your network and find new opportunities, you’ll need to get social. Don’t spread yourself too thin across too many groups, though. Instead, pick a few, maybe five, and focus your activity on those five. All the badges of the groups you join will appear in your profile, which helps other like-minded professionals find you.
The best way to be social on LinkedIn is to be helpful. Answer group members’ questions for which you have insightful answers. Or, pose a question yourself, start a poll on an emerging trend, or offer an opinion to spark a conversation. (As with any social media channel, be diplomatic and mindful when voicing opinions.)
The point is to get out in front of people. Another great way to do so with LinkedIn groups is simply to congratulate people when they get promoted and “like” interesting articles and conversations. Nice goes a very long way in terms of keeping your name and face out there.
#4: Inventory Your Experience
Again, don’t try to bite off more than you chew in one sitting. For example, start by listing all your jobs and the dates when you held them. Then reflect on one position per day for several days, instead of trying to compile your entire employment history, accomplishments, and responsibilities all at once.
Give each employment description the attention it deserves, and then add it to your profile. The job delivering pizza during college shows your work ethic, but it’s not worth your time to dive deeply into this position—unless you managed people or took on greater responsibilities. Instead, put your energy first into describing your current or most recent job.
The upside of all those fields in the LinkedIn profile is that it guides you through recording what’s most important to paint a complete and well-rounded picture of you and your background. And it’s always a good idea to look at other people’s profiles in property management, real estate, and other industries for pointers that can strengthen yours.
But if there’s one thing I can’t emphasize enough: Enter all this information into a Word file or other document!
Why? Because LinkedIn technically “owns” the information entered in your profile, and if the company changes course, you may suddenly lose some of that precious information. By keeping your own copy, you’ll always have a record of your employment history and the inventory of your skills and accomplishments.
On a related note, the same holds true for online job applications. Ever answer a bunch of questions on a job website, only to have your session time out and all your hard work disappear? Vow to never let it happen again!
#5: Don’t Forget to Update Your Profile
Update your profile every time you move to a new company or role, and ensure your contact information is current, too. You’ve put in a lot of hard work to build a complete profile, so adding your new job information is a way to reward yourself and reinforce the habit of keeping your LinkedIn presence up-to-date.
Additionally, if you have a fresh head shot, add that to your profile, too. It’s a good idea to be consistent about your image across multiple social media channels. I use the same photo on all my profiles to make myself familiar and recognizable.
We hope that these five pointers get you started with LinkedIn so you begin reaping the benefits right away and stay on track throughout your property management career. Good luck!Read more on Marketing