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If you haven’t yet, you should make yourself a LinkedIn profile (like, now). For a while, the only person I followed was my dad — until I discovered that LinkedIn is a social media world for professionals. It’s not like Facebook, where I get to write you a novel about my meaningless to-do list for the day, or Twitter, where I only have 140 characters to tell you my to-do list, or even Instagram, where I post selfies of me doing my to-do list.
LinkedIn is more about marketing yourself, managing your career by keeping track of professional contacts, and developing your brand. What’s even better is that you can follow and learn from established professionals about exactly how you should be crushing it in the real world — just like they are.
Before you do anything else on LinkedIn, go follow these eight professionals.
Many young job seekers don’t know how to craft a resume that will get noticed—and I don’t mean cheap, bad tricks like picking a cool font. Paul Freiberger will help you get your resume read by offering great advice on — in his words — how to craft a “powerful professional resume.”
Finding a job is kind of like finding the golden snitch in a game of Quidditch — you don’t know how long it’s going to take, you have to have “skills,” and you’ll be competing against other (potentially more) qualified professionals for it. Enter Liz Ryan, the CEO and founder of Human Workplace. She specifically publishes content for job seekers, offering beneficial advice and tips on how to better your job search experience (so it doesn’t end up being like a soul-sucking Dementor).
If you’re thinking about starting a blog — or if you already have one and want to gain readership, Darren Rowse is the professional to follow. His two blogs (ProBlogger and Digital Photography School) average around 5 million visitors a month — and he wants to share his success by providing business and blogging tips on LinkedIn.
Between graduating in debt, trying to find full-time work, and potentially moving back home, your early twenties can be a tad bit stressful. But I’m not here to help boost Ben & Jerry sales; I’m here to tell you to follow Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project. She’s a happiness coach, and if you follow her, you may pick up some of the positive habits she shares for a much happier and more fulfilled life.
If your profession involves online content, you know how big a role SEO plays in getting your content seen. Ann Smarty, founder of MyBlogU.com, specializes in SEO. She’s a great resource for learning how to promote noticeable and successful content.
Using social media to promote yourself and your career is smart — and Sean Gardner, bestselling author of the The Road to Social Media Success, is going help you figure out how exactly to use social media to your advantage.
Was personal branding even a thing before the Kardashians? Today, it seems like you’re in the minority if you’re not out there, trying to brand yourself. Dan Schawbel is here to advise millennials on how to create their personal brands.
Goleman is an expert on emotional intelligence and how it can affect your career, which is something we don’t often stop to think about. Being emotionally mature will help you find success, while being emotionally stunted will cause problems. Of course, when you’re working with others, it may not always be you who needs to emotionally evolve, but instead someone you work with. Goleman offers advice on how to handle work situations and leadership with maturity.
When she’s not reading, writing, or playing with her cat, Lyren spends her time getting lost in her imagination. She’s a proud hybrid of the North and South. She has an ongoing obsession with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and wants everyone to know that if it ever comes down to it, she will choose her cat over you.