15 Must Do Things on LinkedIn

Written by Bonnie Boglioli...October 24, 2011

With over 100+ million users, LinkedIn is the network of choice for professionals from all verticals to connect and discover opportunities. But if you’ve been using it as a dumping ground for your CV and not as the powerful network it is, you’ve been missing out. What can LinkedIn do for you? We’re taking a closer look at 15 simple ways to enhance your LinkedIn experience and make better use of your network. Whether you are a contractor, executive or new college grad, you will expand your network and opportunities by integrating these effective tips.

1. Grab Their Attention- People see your headline before anything else on your profile. It must be concise, reflect your goals and help to build your brand. For example, if you are a social media manager who is seeking consulting jobs and speaking opportunities, consider a headline like this: Social Media Consultant; Social Media Coach; Twitter Pro; Speaker.

2. Put Your Profile to Work- It’s simple to rearrange the sections of your profile so that they put your best foot forward. Arrange areas that are of most importance to you and your career front and center, with older or less applicable items farther down the page.

3. Appeal to Your Audience- While you may view yourself as a ‘motivated self-starter’, millions of other LinkedIn members say the same thing about themselves. Worse yet, no one is searching for ‘self-starters’ on LinkedIn. Focus on keywords that will appeal to search, such as ‘motivational speaker’, ‘iOS developer’ or ‘personal injury attorney’.

4. Be Relevant- One of the best ways to leverage any social medium is to keep up-to-date and LinkedIn is no different. If it’s been more than 6 months since you last edited your profile, don’t delay. Add in additional jobs and tasks you’ve done and ensure that your profile’s keywords reflect your current career goals.

5. Stay in the Loop- Like any social network, LinkedIn provides a platform for connection but it has the value-added benefit of conversation for those who leverage it. The best way to connect with your network is to share your professional updates. Some pro’s recommend an update every day. Don’t forget: using apps is a great way to manage this task automatically.

6. Read & Respond- There are two sides to every coin. If you want people reading your updates and whereabouts, you should be doing the same for them. A quick reference to a connection’s update lets them know you are on the ball.

7. Ask & Answer- Got expertise? Expand your network by answering questions that you have insight on with LinkedIn Answers with those outside of your own network. You’ll be surprised how many new connections you can make that will open new possibilities.

8. Use Apps- Provide the latest content to your network by linking up your blog, Tweets, upcoming travel schedule and more with LinkedIn’s apps. It’s easy, free and keeps your profile fresh.

9. Promote with Presentations- Several important apps like Google Presentation and Slide Share allow you to promote your brand, company or research by sharing your latest presentations. There is no reason not to include these apps if you make frequent PowerPoints.

10. Use Events- Did you know that LinkedIn makes it easy for you to search for events by topic, location and date? It’s also just as easy to create a new event or spread the word about an upcoming one that you’re attending.

11. Use the Right Recommendations- When receiving a recommendation, LinkedIn puts you in the driver’s seat. You don’t need to make all recommendations public- ensure they are the right fit for what you’re looking to accomplish at this point in your career. Don’t overlook older recommendations if they speak to your experience, diligence and other attributes that you continue to leverage.

12. Put Your Company on a Pedestal- If you’re a business owner or in charge of company communications, set up a company page. Not only will this help your current and past employees connect, but it will increase your recruiting or prospecting power by engaging their networks in the process.

13. Scale Your Business- Your company page should have a ‘career page’ that explains your brand and open positions for prospective employees and candidates. Don’t forget to include your recruiters on this page and allow candidates to send messages to them.

14. B2B Trump Card- A recent report shows LinkedIn beating out stiff social media competition from Twitter and Facebook when it comes to B2B use for gaining information. Whether you are in a B2B or B2C industry, utilize your LinkedIn network for B2B marketing, prospecting and recruiting.

15. Search with Signal- Little known Signal allows you to keep tabs on discussions revolving around companies, topics and more from your network. This is a great way to manage your brand or connect with others.

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