LinkedIn looks a lot like a cocktail party – a place where you go in and greet people. When being invited to a cocktail party, most probably the first thing you would think about is to know the best way to make the best first impression: who else is going to be there; how can you get the right people at the party so that you can accomplish your goal.
The world’s largest professional network looks a lot like a cocktail party, with the difference that there are millions of people attending that “party.” Therefore, it is important for you have to make sure that you would be found at the “party.”
Here are few tips to do that:
Be found: Put a face to the name; members with profile photos are seven times more likely to be found in searches.
Create a crisp, punchy headline: Highlight what makes you different; speak directly to your audience; and use keywords to be found in LinkedIn search.
Tell the full story of you: Showcase your professional career, growth, and accomplishments in the Summary and Experience sections of your profile.
Let your network speak for you: Make your profile come to life with Endorsements and Recommendations from colleagues, employees and customers.
Expand your network: Search on LinkedIn using keywords that illustrate what type of connections you are looking for. Focus on quality, not quantity; the value of your LinkedIn network comes from the connections who want to help you succeed.
Update your skills: Get endorsed and add skills to your profile that are meaningful for what it is that you do. These skills could be terms that can be picked up by the algorithm, when recruiters or others search for people like you.
Discover your dream company: Figure out who do you want to work for and come up with a list. Once you have a list, go back to your network and find out who those people are and talk to them.
Add volunteer experience: Having volunteer experience is so important, especially in Canada. It is valued by most employers and will give them a better idea of who you are when they’re thinking of hiring you.
Connect with alumni: Connecting with people you already know is very valuable. They would be people you can directly connect with or reach out to and have warmer conversations with.
Search for jobs: Searching on a regular basis “tells” LinkedIn that you may be a job seeker. This will prompt the system to start feeding you – automatically and anonymously – information that can help you identify future roles or companies that are hiring people with similar skills as you.
Apply with LinkedIn: This is a simple and quick process to apply to a job by using your LinkedIn profile. Take advantage of this when your profile is exactly what you want to present, and gives the impression you want to deliver of yourself.
Save your job searches: This is another way for you to tell LinkedIn about your job interests and be alerted when matching opportunities come up.
Contribute to the network: Contribute to your network and tell them what you want and what value you offer. You need to tell people that you are an industry expert by talking about some of the best practices when it comes to your industry or field of expertise.
Who’s viewed your profile: Take a look at who’s viewed your profile and look back at their profile; maybe even go and talk to them, if interested.
Leave the office: Online works well, but nothing replaces human interaction. Leave your office; get out of the building and network in person – it’s hard to beat old fashioned handshakes. Remember to close the loop after meeting new contacts by reaching out on LinkedIn.
* These tips are taken from a presentation delivered by Perry Monaco, Strategic Product Consultant with LinkedIn, on February 27, 2014.