LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site with 546 million user. Of these users, 80% view professional networking as being important. Using LinkedIn to its fullest potential for your business- and employment-related needs is key. Many users are unaware of the best practices to help network across its platform. Below are some helpful tips that will increase your follower base, engage the right audience and generate results. Whether you are just creating a new account or wanting to update your profiles, these eight areas can make a huge impact.
Update your profile!
- Use your LinkedIn profile like a resume—make sure it is current, detailed and professional. Would you list only your job title on a resume? Make sure you include detail for each position you have worked.
- Include your education—be proud of the degree(s) you have obtained! Go ahead and brag—include your GPA, awards and those extracurricular activities.
- Highlight your skills and use of current technologies – What have you mastered? What are you currently learning? Refrain from using “Knowledge of.” Always include an example of your actual hands-on experience with the tool. LinkedIn users with at least five skills on their profile receive 17 times more profile views.
- There are many positions that require a certain certification or training. For network fields, those may be CCNA, CCNP, CompTIA or Project Management openings requiring the “PMP.” Most of these certifications require several hours of studying and exams. Be proud to show that you have gone through these classes entirely.
- Include a summary of who you are, what you do and your interests. Use this section as your “elevator pitch”.
What do recruiters look for on profiles?
- Current position and job roles/responsibilities—Recruiters are looking for keywords in your summaries—what have you been using, developing or accomplishing.
- Many hiring managers and recruiters look to your LinkedIn profile for current locations, current/past positions and education. This allows others to see your background, what you have achieved in your industry, where you are currently working and what you are responsible for in your role.
- Recruiters looking to hire for IT jobs need to see what development tools, software languages and environments you have worked in. Recruiters are attracted to those profiles that have a bit more detail, and those that show why you would be a fit for their opening.
“Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, marketing your uniqueness, marketing what you stand for.”
– Christine Comaford-Lynch
- Keep it professional, use a head shot. This is the first impression people will have on your LinkedIn profile. The best advice would always be to use a head shot. If you don’t have a professional head shot, reach out to a company that specializes in it. Or have a friend or family member capture one for you—a white or neutral background is recommended.
- Always have a picture! New connections are more likely to accept or request to connect with you if you have a profile picture. LinkedIn profiles with photos are 36 times more likely to receive a message.
- Unprofessional examples may include group-cropped photos, photos of you and another person, photos from a distance or where you are not looking at the camera, and symbols or cartoons.
Make at least 2 posts/shares a week
- Be mindful of the content that you are posting—inappropriate pictures or casual life updates are not the best choice—If it is something that you know would be better suited for your personal social media websites, think twice before sharing to LinkedIn.
- Share posts on your industry – new advancements or company updates.
- If there is a company you follow, such as Epitec, that has posted new IT jobs, share those to your connections. There is always someone who is going to be interested.
Personalize your Requests to potential connections
- Don’t simply send a Connection Request – Introduce yourself and what you are looking to network about.
- If you share connections, include that you do share a common peer, company, or have attended the same school.
- If you are reaching out regarding an open position, include why you are a fit, and what experience you can offer. If you are not local, let them know that you are available to relocate.
- Following and joining groups can help you meet new connections, learn about networking events that are local to you, and network with professionals similar to you.
- Industry Updates – Keeping up on the news, events and changes. This will help you to not only learn more, but provide you with topics of networking discussions.
- Staffing Agency/Recruitment Agency – these companies share new positions regularly.
- Follow the companies you want to work with or for. Worldwide, 57% of companies currently have a LinkedIn business page and 46% of their social media view comes from their LinkedIn page.
- Connect/Follow those suggested by LinkedIn. According to your current followers and connections, LinkedIn will recommend you follow certain companies or leaders. Follow the CEO or VP, connect with the Manager at your dream company, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
Start conversations/comment on connections’ posts
- If there is an interesting article that has piqued your interest, share your knowledge on the topic or share a comment.
- Don’t be afraid to ask a question to learn more or to understand others’ points of view.
- Make recommendations on your current/previous coworkers’ pages. Doing so allows for validation, for others to see what this person is capable of and their successes. If you do this for them, they are more likely to do the same for you.
Silently signal to recruiters that you are open to new roles
- LinkedIn has a great feature that allows you to show that you are currently seeking/open to new opportunities.
- There are preferences you can customize: choose what type of roles (job titles, industries), if you are only looking for Full-Time vs. Contract or Part-Time. If you are open for relocation, you can select which states or cities you are interested in moving to.
- Remember: Recruiters are searching for candidates nationwide and are more likely to message you if they can see that you are already open to exploring new positions. On the recruiter’s side, there is an option to filter their searches to those who are noticeably “Open to New Opportunities.”
- Use this link below to see how to update yours today:
Increase response rates, generate valuable interactions and this will lead to better success. Did you know that the average LinkedIn user has 400 connections, but the average CEO has 930 connections? Now that you are armed with the knowledge to make LinkedIn work better for you, make these simple changes and you will begin to build a larger, more powerful network!