Stephanie Taylor Christensen
It’s hard to believe that when LinkedIn first launched in 2003, it attracted as few as 20 new signups some days.
But now, logging on to the social professional network can feel a bit like swimming in a sea of names, faces, titles and status updates.
George from accounting is celebrating his three-year anniversary! Colin from college is on his fifth job!
It’s become such a professional staple that not using the platform to its fullest extent could mean missing out on scoring a dream job, tapping into that elusive contact’s network and even discovering your next best hire.
So to make sure you aren’t squandering your networking opportunities, we tapped LinkedIn experts (including one directly from the source!), along with some super users to share their best LinkedIn tips.
If you’re gunning for a new gig, this may be your year: In LinkedIn’s 2015 U.S. Recruiting Trends report, half of talent managers said that finding quality candidates was their No. 1 priority—and social professional networks have become their top source for ferreting out first-class hires.
Tips Tailored for Job Seekers
Here’s how to prime your profile to make it stand out from the crowd:
1. Let them see you. Selfie lovers, rejoice. You now have a business case for perfecting the angle on those solo shots.
“LinkedIn profiles with a picture are 14 times more likely to be viewed,” says Catherine Fisher, LinkedIn’s career expert.
Not only does simply having a photo get you views, but refreshing your profile photo will help boost them. According to LinkedIn data, Millennials change their profile photos more frequently than any other age group—which means they’re also the most viewed demo on the site.
3 Tips Tailored for People Looking to Boost Their Brand
3. Maximize character counts. Your LinkedIn profile is chock full of mini sections that can double as areas where you can claim professional bragging rights.
Take your Summary description, which offers up to 2,000 characters. So trade that boring, one-sentence description for one that touts your big professional accomplishments—with plenty of keywords baked in.
The Description box beneath each job within the Experience section also holds up to 2,000 characters—prime space for sharing a case study, customer testimonial or other big wins you scored at each job, says Viveka von Rosen, author of “LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day.”
And remember that it’s not just text you can add—LinkedIn lets you upload documents, photos, links, videos and presentations to your Summary and Experience sections.
Did you help produce a commercial at your first job? Pen a big whitepaper at your last one? Have a personal website you’re proud of? Attach them so would-be clients can see real examples of the impact you made.
Tips Tailored for Hiring Managers in Search of Superstars …
3. Check recent activity. Once you’re ready for a profile deep dive, don’t just stay on a candidate’s profile page. Get a sense for what they’re interested in, what trends they watch, and which well-known business people they follow by checking out their activity feed, suggests von Rosen.
You get to this page by clicking on the drop down menu next to the “Send a message /InMail” button, then choosing the “View recent activity” option.
If the candidate hasn’t set their settings to private, you should be able to see what types of content they’ve shared and liked. Looking for an innovator? Perhaps the one who hangs on Richard Branson’s every word is the right fit for the job.
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