LinkedIn remains one of the best platforms to expand your professional network. When used to its full potential, it can help raise awareness of your brand among those who are able to support your efforts. The problem is most people aren’t maximizing their profiles, resulting in wasted opportunities.
Users needn’t spend hours a day on LinkedIn to see positive results, however, being mindful of how you use it could mean the difference between generating solid leads or simply taking up space with nothing compelling to offer. Here are six ways to maximize your LinkedIn profile and start seeing the types of results you want to grow your network.
- Schedule regular updates.
Make it a habit to update your profile every month, or, at a minimum, quarterly. By scheduling it during a specific time period, you’re more likely to do it. Updates let your network know what you are up to and indicates forward progress.
- Showcase your work.
Use the Projects feature to add Projects that show desirable skill sets, group and individual work efforts, new capabilities, or informal use of valuable skills that reinforce your brand message. The key is to emphasize the type of project important to your target employers to demonstrate your value as a prospective employee.
- Use keywords in profile and descriptions.
Keywords are the key to your LinkedIn Profile. Make keywords work for you instead of looking like a laundry list of random words. Be conscious of flow and relevancy. Don’t forget your Headline, having a Headline that speaks about your brand, expertise and abilities tells the reader more about your value as a professional.
- Update your professional-looking headshot.
It’s not necessary to schedule a professional photo shoot to get a great headshot, but your headshot shouldn’t look like a mug shot. This is your professional face, after all, and the image you’re portraying to people who may not ever meet you in real life. According to LinkedIn, a great profile photo increases views of your profile by 21 times and produces nine times more connection requests.
- Ask for recommendations.
Asking for and giving recommendations increase your brand on LinkedIn. Make it a practice to give one or two recommendations per month, most of the time your connection will reciprocate. You can also ask your connections to recommend you. Sometimes it is good to suggest work areas on which you would like to have the recommendation focus.
- Post regularly.
As with most social media platforms, LinkedIn’s algorithm rewards those who post frequently. If daily feels like too much, aim to at least get a post or two up every week. Choose a designated day of the week to check in so it becomes routine.
Having a LinkedIn presence on its own isn’t enough to generate interest in you or your work, just like simply having a website isn’t enough to draw people in. It needs to be an active part of your marketing arsenal for you to see results.
Building up your LinkedIn presence takes time. Keep at it even if you don’t see results instantly. The effectiveness of this strategy will grow with every connection you make and every post you share.
Rick Christensen: Director, Career Transition Practice Rick has been a career consultant for over 25 years, serving a very broad-based and diverse clientele. His specialties include effective group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and consultation at all levels including senior executives.
Rick’s passion is coaching individuals through career transitions, developing career management strategies and in identifying and sharpening competencies to open doors to new opportunities. His efforts have assisted thousands of individuals achieve their full potential.
Contact Rick at: Rick@CareerDevelopmentPartners.com