Many professionals turn to LinkedIn when they're in the market for a new job. But, according to LinkedIn Connection Director and author Nicole Williams , once you land that new job, your work isn't done.
"It's surprising what first impressions can do for the people you work with," Williams says. "You need to be just as active on LinkedIn as you were during the hiring process."
Here are five steps you should take after you've accepted a new job, in preparation for your first day.
1. Get to know the company better. The chances are you did your homework and were armed with company stats when you interviewed. Before your first day, follow the company on LinkedIn and brush up on what's new.
"You want to be well-versed about what the company is about and what they've been up to," Williams says. "Visit their company page and look at who else has been newly hired, for example, what their positions are and where they're coming from. That way, you'll have talking points when you meet them in person and you won't feel as nervous."
2. Connect with people on your new team. Just because you haven't been formally introduced to them doesn't mean you can't introduce yourself first, Williams says. Find out who you'll be working with and send them an invitation to connect.
"Connecting with people before you start at your new job is a good strategy," Williams says. "It's so surprising what first impressions can do, and connecting with people before you start helps you get past that month of 'getting-to-know-you' conversations."
Williams recommends finding out if you have any common threads—such as an alma mater or past coworkers—to make conversations when you start a little easier. Plus, looking them up on LinkedIn will help you recognize them in person when you meet.
3. List accomplishments from your previous position. "There's nothing wrong with making sure your profile is full of experiences and skills from your old job, and do it now while it's still top of mind," Williams recommends.
Jot down a list of your accomplishments and skills, and ask for LinkedIn recommendations from former colleagues. "Don't wait until you're a month into your new job," Williams says. "Get what you want out of your old company before you're too far removed."
4. Add a new photograph and alert others. A new start deserves a new photo, Williams says. "This is an opportunity to rebrand yourself as a professional, especially if you're moving from a lower position to something higher."
Also be sure to alert your network with a status update that you're leaving your old position and starting a new job with your new company. Be sure to list how they can contact you. "Some people might be annoyed with you touting your new job on something like Facebook, but LinkedIn is the place to do it—it's expected."
5. Rely on LinkedIn Groups and Answers. There are tens of thousands of LinkedIn groups for professionals, and LinkedIn Answers is where you can pose a question to your network and other industry professionals.
"In your first weeks you'll likely have questions about projects you're working on," Williams says. "Go to LinkedIn Groups or Answers and without giving too much away, ask other professionals about strategies. You'll be surprised how quickly you'll get high-quality answers."
[Want more LinkedIn tips, tricks and analysis? Check out CIO.com's LinkedIn Bible.]
Kristin Burnham covers consumer technology, social networking and enterprise collaboration for CIO.com. Follow Kristin on Twitter @kmburnham. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Kristin at firstname.lastname@example.org