There are a number of ways that Hiring Managers and Recruiters can find top talent. One of the most popular recruiting tools is LinkedIn, a great forum for building your professional brand, displaying your past experience, and showing off your skillset. No matter what industry you’re in, using LinkedIn effectively is an excellent way to foster your professional network online. Start with these three steps.

Step #1 – Keep your Profile Current.

You would never present someone with an out-of-date resume, so the same goes for your LinkedIn profile – it should stay as current as possible. Focus on the five key areas:

  • Photo – Keep it professional
  • Location – List where you are currently living (not where you want to work)
  • Education/Experience – Highlight your accomplishments and make sure all dates are accurate
  • Skills – List the most relevant skills to your industry and remember to be honest

Besides staying current, you also want your profile to be synergistic with your resume. While the information shouldn’t be copied verbatim, both your LinkedIn and your resume should convey the same information. And since LinkedIn is an online forum, you have the opportunity to go beyond your resume – adding presentations and projects you’ve worked on in past positions will impress future employers!

Step #2 – Own your Professional Interests.

The next step to getting your profile in front of the right eyes is making sure that it also aligns with your interests. Following companies within your industry or the industry that want to work in will ensure that content about its job market, open positions, notable industry news will show up in your newsfeed.

In the same way, following LinkedIn influencers that are a part of your desired industry can help you gain a more realistic view of what it’s like to work in that specific industry. Connecting with powerful CEOs, famous designers, and the like will curate your newsfeed content even more. Some of these individuals often post about their own professional experiences too. Hello, career advice!

Step #3 – Connect with your Professional Community.

A complete profile and curated newsfeed doesn’t mean much if you’re not connecting with the professionals in your field. Posting regularly about your professional achievements and notable industry events will show your interest in professional engagement. It also gives your connections a chance to interact with you organically, through likes, comments and messages. Never ignore a chance to connect – you never know what that could lead to!

Conversely, you should also engage with your community on their posts. By liking and commenting on things like work anniversaries, important professional updates, and interesting articles, you are showing your connections that you have a professional interest in them. It will keep you top-of-mind, and more likely to be called when they need someone with your expertise!

LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools you have in building your professional network and brand. By keeping your profile current, owning your interests, and actively engaging with your community, you will be on your way to attracting the right types of people to help you find your dream job.