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5 Tips to Get More Out of LinkedIn

July 27, 2011

You’re already on LinkedIn, the social networking site where you basically maintain your resume online. Right??

You should be, because LinkedIn provides a place to display your professional credentials online (on a website you can control) that will likely be a top search result if someone “Googles” you. It also serves, as Forbes recently noted, as “a kind of passive invitation to recruiters and potential employers.”

In fact, the big news about LinkedIn this week is that it now offers an “Apply with LinkedIn” button, so you can apply for a job posting online with the click of a button, submitting your LinkedIn profile for consideration. (No old-fashioned resume and cover letter needed!) The convenience benefit for you is obvious—and the benefit for companies who are hiring is a simpler means to screen candidates, because “LinkedIn profiles are uniform and easily searchable.”

5 Tips To Maximize Your LinkedIn Presence

All that being said, you may want to take your LinkedIn to the next level. Here are 5 tips to make sure you’re taking full advantage of the site…all things I’ve recently learned:

  1. Find out who has been viewing your LinkedIn profile. What? You didn’t know you can do this? I didn’t either, but yep, I was thrilled to discover, you can! (It’s a feature that everyone wishes Facebook would offer, but alas, does not.) LinkedIn, however, does! On your LinkedIn homepage, you’ll see how many people have viewed your profile in the last 90 days, and how many times others have searched for your name.
    • To try it: Just go to your LinkedIn homepage. (Click Home in the top navigation bar.) Who has viewed your profile will be listed on the right sidebar. (You may notice some people are listed, while others have the more ambiguous “Someone at Company X,” meaning they have tightened their visibility settings. Control how you appear to others by changing your visibility setting.)
  2. Keep up with relevant industry news. LinkedIn recently launched a new “News” service called “LinkedIn Today,” which aggregates headlines from around the Web according to what is most likely to be of interest to you, based on what stories people in your professional network and industry are reading and sharing. As the New York Times explained in a blog post, “LinkedIn is hoping that by tapping your own network and your peers in the industry, it will do a better job at cutting through the clutter.” And my personal experience confirms that; the news stories provided to me so far have been on point with my interests!
    • To try it: Just click on News up in the top navigation bar, next to More. (You may already be getting these in email from LinkedIn, too. I am…)
  3. Post a question on LinkedIn Answers, or share your own expertise by answering someone else. Have you tapped the expertise of the 90+ million on LinkedIn yet, or shared your own knowledge, building your online reputation and expanding your network? LinkedIn’s Answers enables you to post your professional dilemmas, both large and small, and then reap the benefits of crowd-sourced knowledge, much like Yahoo! Answers, but for grown-ups with serious queries about the workplace.
    • To try it: Just click on More up in the top navigation bar, then Answers.
  4. Update the skills you list on your profile with the buzzwords recruiters are looking for. LinkedIn uses algorithms to identify common phrases others have used to describe similar expertise on their profiles, and the top trending search terms. So, you can make your online resume glisten with search-engine-optimized goodness! (And maybe freshen up your content while you’re in there; it’s looking a bit stale.)
    • To try it: Click on the More menu up in the top navigation bar, then click on Skills. Enter an area in which you have expertise. LinkedIn will show you the profiles of others who have that type of expertise, so you can see how they list it on their profiles. It also lists related skills, current job openings seeking people with that skill set, and companies working in that arena!
  5. Customize your LinkedIn profile by carefully adding relevant applications and your website(s). You can make your profile more unique by customizing it. For example, I linked my LinkedIn accountto my SlideShare account, so my LinkedIn displays my most recent presentations. You could also link your blog(s), your Twitter account, your Amazon reading list, your upcoming trips, and more. Another great thing you can do is customize the websites you list on your profile so instead of the blah “Company Website” that appears by default (pictured below), you change it to say something interesting about yourself and the link destination to really pique people’s interest.
    • To try it: To add applications, click on the More menu up in the top navigation bar, then click on Applications and browse the selection.
    • To customize your listed websites, I refer you to my friend with tons of expertise in social media, Marijean Jaggers, who explains how to in her blog post, Edit Company Website. (In my case, I followed her tip and renamed my blah “Company Website” link to this blog to the much more intriguing-sounding McSwain-Starrett.com. Thanks, Marijean!)
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One Comment leave one →
  1. mcswainstarrett permalink*
    August 30, 2011 4:14 pm

    More great tips for LinkedIn: http://socialmediatoday.com/catherinelockey/340692/how-does-linkedin-grow-your-business

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