Many recruiters and staffing managers rely on LinkedIn extensively when sourcing candidates. Whether you're employed or looking for a job, keeping your profile up-to-date is important. Maximize your profile, target your activity and you WILL get noticed.
1) Make the most of stealth mode. If you're updating your profile and DON'T want people to see every change you make, go into settings and click on "Turn on/off your activity broadcasts." This is highly recommended if you're employed and looking for new opportunities. It can look suspicious to your current employer and colleagues if they start to see you making additions to your page.
2) Get into groups. Don't just join a group, get involved! Every time you like or comment in a group discussion, you're seen by the other members of the group - whether they are your connections or not! Also, did you know that you can send a message to a fellow group member without being connected? This can be a powerful tool. Don't abuse this feature, but do use it to your advantage.
3) Quantify your accomplishments. Hiring managers look through dozens, and in many cases, hundreds, of profiles daily. You really only have seconds to grab their attention. Add statistics, numbers and percentages that show how you saved your employers time, effort and money.
4) Add images and links. If you click on "Edit Profile" on your page, it will bring up an Edit option by your Summary and Experience sections. Click on the + sign on the right to add links, images and documents to your page. This is the perfect place to add articles, blog posts and other work that showcase your skills and strengths. Note - these photos, links and documents only show up to connections. Non-connections will only see the text of your profile if they search and find you via a search engine.
5) Make your status updates count. Don't be "me" focused. Even though your LinkedIn page is obviously about you, it's better to offer your connections information that's relevant to THEM. You don't have to create the content yourself. Search Google and Yahoo for industry articles, career related content, etc. Don't be controversial. Safe topics can include workplace satisfaction, how to be more productive during the day, interview advice, etc. Remember, any time one of your connections comments and likes your status update, all their connections see it as well.
6) Contain stalking tendencies. It's fine to research potential employers and employees at a company you are interested in - within reason. It's only human nature to be curious when someone clicks on your profile and then click on theirs. However, multiple viewings of the same person can start to look a bit creepy. Switch to anonymous mode to be completely safe. You'll find this feature under Privacy & Settings.
Two Bonus tips:
LinkedIn is constantly adding new features. They recently started rolling out a feature where users can self -publish. "When a member publishes a post on LinkedIn, their original content becomes part of their professional profile and is shared with their network." This is a great opportunity to promote yourself through writing and sharing information.
LinkedIn also has an interesting new feature where you can check how you rank compared to other users at your company and among your connections. You can see how you rank for profile views within your company and within your connections. Get to this section by clicking on Who's Viewed Your Profile. It will bring you to a page where you can then click to see how you rank.
LinkedIn can be a great way to make connections, promote yourself professionally and research potential employers and positions. Tweak your profile and use some or all of these tips to stand out from the competition. To find out more about other new features, check out their blog.
Kyra Mancine is a member of the recruiting team at Oldcastle, North America’s largest manufacturer and distributor of building products and materials. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for career and job search advice, as well as job opportunities. We're here to help!
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