1. Create a Custom URL - Using your own name for your LinkedIn profile URL makes it easier to find you as well as makes it easier to share your link. To change this go to your ‘Edit Profile’ page and click edit next to your ‘Public Profile’ link.
2. Don’t Overshare - This isn’t Facebook or Twitter so it should not be used to share constant personal status updates. If you are not sharing something professional then it should be left off LinkedIn.
3. Use a Nice Picture - You only get one pic so make it a good and professional one.
4. Don’t Neglect and Forget to Update - Try and keep you LinkedIn as up to date as possible. Make it a point to sign on at least once a week to seek out new connections, add experiences / skills, or ask for recommendations. Don’t just do this when you are looking for a job make it a point do it always.
5. Utilize the ‘Answers’ Section - This is a great area to show off your expertise and knowledge and also an opportunity to network. Additionally, the more questions you answer the more points you receive which make you show up higher in the list of experts.
6. Download the LinkedIn Mobile App - Allows you to stay updated on the go when you are not at your computer.
7. Company Pages - Interested in working for a specific company? check out their company page and roam around. See the educational and work back ground of their employees. It will give you a good barometer to compare when you decide to apply. Also pay special attention to who the recruiters are.( Will touch on this later in the list)
8. See who’s Viewed your Profile - This is a fun feature to see who has taken a look at your profile recently. It also shows how many times you have shown up in search results. If you have not shown up a lot in search results try adding more keywords and phrases that recruiters in your industry might look for.
9. Include Specifics for each Job - Don’t just list the positions you have held in the past. List out 4-6 bullet points of specific duties, responsibilities and achievements you held in your various roles.
10. Seek Recommendations - Recommendations can be very powerful when recruiters are looking at your profile. Don’t be afraid to ask past or even current employers/co-workers to take a few minutes to provide a recommendation.
11. Add Skills & Expertise - LinkedIn makes it easy to add in some skills and expertise into your LinkedIn profile so don’t ignore them. Add as many applicable skills as possible. These are keywords that people are searching for so if it is in your profile you will show up in more search results.
12. Have a Strong Summary - LinkedIn gives you 2,000 characters for your summary section and you should try and use all 2,000. Most likely the way people find you is through LinkedIn’s search feature and having as many keywords and phrases about you in the summary section will help you show up more often in those results.
13. Join Groups - Look to join industry groups or alumni groups. These are a great way to stay informed of what is going on in your industry and also to network.
14. Share Updates - Found interesting and informative articles online about your industry? Share them! This is a professional social networking site so people are interested in those kinds of articles.
15. Upgrade your Account? - For the basic user keeping the free profile is probably ok, but for job seekers or businesses you will probably want to upgrade to one of the LinkedIn premium accounts. These have some great features that make achieving your linkedIn goal whether to find a new job, find new business or to find an employee much easier.
16. Share your Blog or Website - If you run a blog or website make sure it is included on your LinkedIn Profile. Additionally, LinkedIn has a WordPress app which makes it easy to share new blog posts.
17. Give Recommendations - Don’t just ask for recommendations also give them out. If there is a co-worker that is great or you just left your job for another and want to recognize your past employers feel free to write a quick recommendation.
18. Send Personalized Connection Requests - There is a much greater chance you will get a faster and better response when you send a personalized message rather than a generic request. Also shows that you are putting in a little effort.
19. Be Social - Doing small things like ‘Liking’ shared articles, commenting or congratulating others on new jobs shows you care and are listening. Doing so will keep you in their mind if an opportunity should come up.
20. Yes, it is ok to Contact a Recruiter - This is the most common question for job seekers that are scared of being annoying or crossing any boundaries. A recruiter’s job is to find the right talent for their company. Therefore you contacting a recruiter is helping them accomplish their job. BUT, you must make sure you are doing it the right way. When you send a message have a clear reason for contacting them don’t just send a general message. Have a position in mind, share your qualities and why you think you might be a good fit, treat it as a way to network. If you build a relationship with a recruiter they may not have a position for you at their company, but often times they are good about connecting you with someone else at another company.
Do you follow some of these tips? Have any other LinkedIn best practices that I did not include? Share them below!