Despite the changing makeup of the social media scene, LinkedIn remains a solid choice for people who are looking for jobs and recruiters seeking fresh talent. Although you’ve probably become accustomed to the basic best practices of using the site, such as making sure your profile is filled out completely and ensuring the information listed there is current, there are many other things you can do to get the most out of the site. Here are 8 ways you can dramatically step up your LinkedIn game.
1. Reorder your endorsements.
The “Skills” section of your profile is where your endorsements are displayed. Instead of just allowing them to be in a random order, you can actually manipulate things so the first 12 endorsements people see are the ones most important to you. Simply go to “Edit Skills” within your profile, then click “Manage Endorsements.” Choose the skill you want to reorder, make sure the 12 endorsements you want to reorder are deselected, and click “Save.” Then, go back through the above steps, but add those 12 endorsers back in and click “Save” once more. Using this approach will make your profile look more appealing because it won’t be filled with endorsers who have decided not to use profile pictures.
2. Add a background to your personal photo.
Similar Facebook’s option to showcase cover photos, instantly up your LinkedIn game by adding a background photo behind your personal photo. Just go to “Profile” and “Edit Profile,” then click “Add a Background Photo” at the top of the page. Since LinkedIn is a professional network, choose your picture accordingly. Perhaps the background image could be something that relates to your line of work, especially if you are using LinkedIn to make the company you work for look appealing for job seekers.
3. Be identifiable when you view a user’s profile.
It’s useful to tweak your privacy settings so they allow people to see who you are when you view their LinkedIn profiles. Go to “Settings” and then “Privacy and Settings” and click “Manage.” From that section, choose “Profile” and then “Privacy Controls.” The feature you want to find is “Select What Others See When You’ve Viewed Their Profile.” At the very least, click to enable those users to see your name and headline. Then, if you’re purposefully checking out the profile of a person who works at a place you’re interested in, you’ll be able to make that interest known by not remaining anonymous.
4. Use the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile?” Feature
The tip above leads nicely into this one, which allows you to see who has looked at your profile in the last 90 days. Just click “Profile” at the top of the page, and go into the feature from there. You can also find out how many people have viewed your profile by clicking the number associated with the “…people viewed your profile” phrase near your profile picture. If any of these people are associated with networks, companies, or brands you’re interested in, consider reaching out them. Clearly they’ve shown interest in you, so what do you have to lose?
5. Communicate often in LinkedIn groups.
LinkedIn groups are private, and your membership must be approved. Once you’re in, though, the website allows you to send up to 15 one-to-one messages to members per month, as long as you have been signed up to LinkedIn for at least 30 days and have been part of the group for four days. With that in mind, it makes sense to use that communication option to the fullest and put feelers out about companies that are hiring and might need your skills. Also, if you’re part of a company that’s using LinkedIn and also part of a group, those group conversations between members could become recruitment tools if you’re actively trying to fill positions.
6. Make sure your LinkedIn presence is reflected elsewhere.
If you use other social networks to stay in touch with people you know and search for potential work, make sure the users of those other websites know you also use LinkedIn. You can import your LinkedIn contacts to Google+ and give those people another way to keep tabs on the things that matter to you. Besides doing that, carefully make sure your Google+ page represents you in a professional way. Branching out on other platforms is especially important because not all recruiters exclusively use LinkedIn to look for prospective employees.
7. View LinkedIn as a promotional tool.
It’s important to have the correct perspective, whether you’re a personal LinkedIn user or you’re taking advantage of the site by using it as platform for informing people about your business. In either case, your profile should be a place where you highlight your best assets. Also, if you’re using LinkedIn on behalf of a company, make sure to be as responsive as possible when people ask questions. That causes your company to be seen in an overall good light.
8. Be descriptive about your experience.
Another way to use LinkedIn better is to remember that the people who view your profile will not have the same first-hand knowledge about where you’ve worked as you do. Some job titles can sound important on their own, but it’s ideal to expand upon those titles and fill people in on what your duties entailed and the milestones you accomplished as well as what the company does, especially if the business name is not well known. The more detailed you can be about the things you’ve done, the easier it is to grab potential employers’ attention and show off why you’re an asset to the workforce.
Whether you’re brand new to the world of LinkedIn or you just want to become more of a power user, hopefully the tips above will help you meet your goals. In closing, remember: Your LinkedIn profile should be considered a snapshot of who you are as a job seeker, or as a business leader.