LinkedIn now has over 225 million users, with 100 million of those in the United States. Execs from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn users. Although LinkedIn has been the sleeping giant of the social media world, it has recently taken steps to be more interactive, giving users the ability to post rich media like videos and images.
Once the shy guest at the social media party, LinkedIn has blossomed, with 40% of LinkedIn users now checking in daily. LinkedIn is not the place for breaking news like Twitter, groovy pictures like Instagram, or delightful how-to images like Pinterest. But LinkedIn has quietly bloomed—by spending a little time on LinkedIn, you will be richly rewarded. Here are Top Ten Tasks and Power Tips for Pinterest and Twitter, by the way.
Here are some top tasks for you to tackle on your LinkedIn profile. For the more advanced, skip to the “Power Tips.”
Add a Professional Photo to Your Profile
Did you know that profiles with photos get seven times as many views as profiles without them? Make sure the photo is of you—not a cartoon avatar, not a photo of the cute new puppy, and not one standing next to your new car. A photo of you, smiling, looking professional is the best image for you on LinkedIn.
Power Tip: Add logos of major media outlets that have mentioned or published you below your photo. Brian Horn suggests “As seen on” with the logos right underneath your picture.
Update Your Status
Your LinkedIn status is the place to show that you’re engaged and up to date. Here’s where you can brag a little about a recent post you authored, a book that mentions you, or an upgrade in your job skills. Have an upcoming event? You can post it here!
Power Tip: Engage people by mentioning them. Type in the @ symbol followed by the name of the person. LinkedIn will auto-populate the name of the person. Often, those mentioned will like, comment, or share. This is important because it extends your reach and your posts will be seen by others. Note: do not overdo the mentions.
Connect, Connect, Connect!
LinkedIn recommends that you have at least 50 people in your network. If you have your colleagues’ email addresses, you can send a connection request.
Power Tip: Don’t use the default connection request, especially if you’re sending a request to someone you barely know. Give that person a reason to connect! For instance, “we keep running into each other at networking events, and I thought it would be fab to connect here, too.”
Use Privacy Settings
When you’re looking for a new job (or happen to be in stealth mode for another reason), use the privacy settings to shield yourself from prying eyes. The privacy settings are on a drop-down menu
Power Tip: Turn off “activity broadcast” so LinkedIn doesn’t send announcements to everyone each time you edit your profi
Fill out the Summary
On LinkedIn, you have more space than you would on a paper resume, and that includes the old-school summary section that everyone once had on their resumes. Don’t overlook this important piece of your profile.
Power Tip: Search for people in fields similar to you to see what keywords their profiles contain. When you do the search, notice who comes up first. Think of LinkedIn as a mini-Google, where you would like your profile to rise to the top in the search engines! The same thing is true in search on LinkedIn—you want to be listed at the top in a search for your keywords
List Hobbies and Volunteer Work
Maybe you have a soft spot for rescuing cats. Maybe you enjoy working with kids or volunteering for a church. Whatever you like to do in your spare time is important to the person who wants to connect with you.
Power Tip: Make a particular effort to include volunteer work in your area of expertise. And even if it doesn’t seem relevant to you, include it anyway. You never know what people are looking for.
There are over 1.4 million groups on LinkedIn—that’s enough groups for just about anyone! If you want to be noticed, join groups. Listen to conversations or just lurk for a while if you want to know how people relate to one another. Every group has slightly different dynamics.
Power Tip: Once you’re familiar with how a group operates, you may want to start your own group.
Give Recommendations and Endorsements
Endorsements are very simple to give—just a couple of clicks and you’re done. Recommendations, on the other hand, take a little more work, and so will be more appreciated. If there’s a colleague who has really stood out for you, give them a recommendation.
Power Tip: It’s not necessary to thank people for simple endorsements, since they take so little time (in my opinion). But I would thank someone who gave you a recommendation because of the extra consideration that goes into them
Updating Your Profile
Occasionally, you may want to update your profile. When you do, turn off the “activity broadcast” feature so that all your followers don’t get inundated with each little change.
Power Tip: Customize your profile URL if you haven’t already by going to Settings > Edit Public Profile > Customize Your Public Profile URL.
While the desktop version of LinkedIn has the most features, having the mobile app can let you connect with people on the fly at networking events.
Power Tip: Simply search for the person you’ve just met on the mobile app, connect, and you won’t have to worry about losing a business card ever again.
How Much Time Do You Spend on LinkedIn?
I’m curious if LinkedIn’s new changes have you spending more time there. Please leave a comment letting me know!