If you are not yet registered on LinkedIn, consider the following: this is the the largest professional network in the world in line with more than 467 million members in over 200 countries and territories (updated in 2016). In fact, Professionals are signing up at an incredible rate of over two new members per second. And, an incredible 77 percent of job vacancies are posted on the site.
Convinced? You should be. So, we’ll wait here for a second while you sign up.
Now that you’ve all signed up on LinkedIn, here’s the most important part: your profile.
Obviously, your profile must contain vital information: professional experience, skills, training, etc. But when 50% of users have an incomplete profile, how can you get noticed? Instead of just being another LinkedIn user with an unfinished profile, stand out from the crowd by becoming a LinkedIn All-Star.
While it might seem like an extremely difficult task, you can achieve this status by following these 11 quick and easy tweaks.
1. Updated and appropriate photo
Your LinkedIn profile picture should be recent, professional, and recognizable. After all, your image is probably the first thing people will see of you, and it should reflect who you are as a professional.
For future reference, make sure your profile isn’t grainy or pixelated, a selfie, dimly lit, or at an inappropriate time, like at a party where alcohol is flowing. Finally, if you want to stand out, have a black and white image. As the majority of the photos are in color, you will get noticed instantly.
2. Eye-catching title
Your title is probably the most crucial 120 characters on your profile because it tells the world who you are and why you are an asset. The title should include meaningful and descriptive keywords, such as your title or function.
Also include your unique set of skills that set you apart from the crowd. Another way to improve your “search” is to add multiple titles. This will display the different roles / positions that a person might be looking for related to your profession.
3. Update the experience
This section must be up to date – LinkedIn states that including your two most recent positions can make your profile 12 times more likely to be found. However, instead of just listing the tasks, describe the impact you had on the business. You can also use this section to detail specific responsibilities, awards, honors, and accomplishments you have had with previous and current businesses.
If you are a student or unemployed, take advantage of this section by illustrating your passion, skills, expertise and how you can be an asset. Since most of us don’t have time to read a book, try to keep this section short and to the point, around 150-250 words should be enough.
4. Get recommendations
You may have noticed that when someone approves you, it will show up under your work experience on your LinkedIn profile. And, next to each recommendation, you’ll see how many people have recommended you for a particular skill set, where LinkedIn is very important. However, well-written, old-fashioned recommendations are still the optimal way to boost your reputation by adding credibility.
The best way to get a great recommendation is to just ask for one. It’s probably a good idea to personalize the message and send it one at a time, although you can ask up to 200 people at a time. And, don’t hesitate to offer a recommendation in return.
5. Make sure the summary is complete
This is top notch real estate for people to learn more about you as this is where you can describe your expertise and training. So, why not make sure that the 2000 words of the Substantive Summary module are complete?
Present yourself in a conversational, yet professional manner, and try not to be completely self-centered. This is also the area where you can provide links to your portfolio.
6. Join groups and connect
The point of being on LinkedIn is to connect. So you should at least consider joining ten groups – if you want to achieve “All-Star” status, you need to have at least 50 connections. Simply go to the contacts tab of your profile and click on “Add connections”. You can also configure it to have LinkedIn download contacts from your email service provider to see who has a LinkedIn profile. Also search for colleagues, former colleagues and classmates to broaden your network.
To find groups in your niche, search for a keyword then click on “groups”:
Why is this so important?
As there are over 1.8 million groups to choose from, this is the perfect opportunity for you to increase your relevance, discover new people to join your network, and the ability to direct messages to others. people who are not in your network. However, to avoid “email overload”, you should adjust the contact settings for each group to your liking. And make sure it’s about professional relationships as well.
7. Follow the company you want to work for
As we already know, LinkedIn focuses on connecting people to a professional network, but it can also be used to follow a specific company, which is a great feature for job seekers. Simply click on the “Companies” link on the home page and enter a keyword to locate the companies that interest you. After landing on a business listing page, simply click on the business ‘Follow’ button. By following a business on LinkedIn, you’ll have access to updates from that business, such as job postings and making new connections.
Additionally, you’ll want to follow influencers as well. This allows viewers to get a feel for your interests and values. Since influencers regularly post on LinkedIn, you will have the opportunity to comment and share articles that are meaningful to you and your network. And be sure to follow your own business, if you have one. It proves that you are a team player.
8. Include the media
You can easily add videos, images, links, documents or presentations to your profile by simply using the “square plus sign” icon in your Summary or Experience sections. By including media, you are able to effectively present who you are as a professional and as an individual. It is one thing to describe your work; It’s another to actually show your talents, which could lead to a useful meeting, phone call, or connection.
9. Post frequently
When you post frequently, you have the opportunity to increase engagement, which will also increase the likelihood of you appearing in other people’s LinkedIn profile searches. Post relevant industry news, blog posts, or articles once a day to update your status. People are most active between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on weekdays (don’t get arrested for updating your profile at work!).
10. Privacy settings
Check your privacy settings to see what is shown and what is not. In the privacy settings, you are allowed to edit the information that others see about you, such as contact information, your contacts, and how others are connected to you. And, if you’re just snooping around on other people’s profiles, you can always set your profile to anonymous. That way, they won’t know who you are.
11. Use a personalized URL, badges and signatures
You should probably convert your LinkedIn profile into a personal branding statement for the world to see. To do this, you’ll need an easy-to-remember address to type in the browser’s address bar. However, since your profile’s default LinkedIn URL isn’t the most detailed, you’ll need to customize the URL as a Custom URL.
Start by going to the “Profile” section of your home page and select “Edit Profile”. In the bottom right section of the page, there should be a link that says, “Customize your public profile URL”. Once you click on the link, you can give the last part any name you want, as long as it’s available. And, as simple as that, you have a custom url.
You’ll also want to add LinkedIn badges to your profile, which can be found under the Custom URL parameter. Badges are cool graphics that can be placed on blogs, emails, online, or resumes, to name a few. All you need to do is select your preferred button and copy and paste the HTML code into the box.
Finally, promote your profile by adding your LinkedIn URL in your email signature. Just this quick addition is basically attaching your resume to anyone you email.
Are you a LinkedIn star? If so, how did you get this status? And, if you weren’t aware, SEJ is now on LinkedIn. So head over to LinkedIn and connect with us!
Image Credit: LinkedIn Centipede Participants via Flickr
In Post Image: Screenshot taken by Danielle Antosz, 11/2016