Part Two of a Two-Part Series to Help You Develop a Highly Effective LinkedIn Profile!
Ready to take your relationship to the next level with LinkedIn? Our previous blog taught you the basics of using LinkedIn, now it’s time to ramp things up with features and benefits to help you make your LinkedIn Profile stronger. If you’re in the job market, or considering a career change, LinkedIn offers a huge opportunity for networking and showing off your skills and connections. Use it to your advantage by getting the inside scoop on some of LinkedIn’s most important features.
The 500+ connection mark is the coveted milestone on LinkedIn. To really gain the maximum benefit from LinkedIn, your goal should be to connect to as many people of value as possible. Work to make connections outside of your industry and immediate geography. Be careful about the connections you accept to ensure you are linking up with people who align with your career goals. You want to infiltrate other networks to help your profile come up in more searches. If you’re connected to your co-workers and a few old friends, you’re not taking advantage of LinkedIn’s “Six Degrees of Separation” strategy.
Skills & Endorsements
To get started on your skills, prioritize which ones are best for your career and job search strategy. Think about key words that HR managers or Recruiters would use to look for candidates—in other words, think about what your ideal job description would look like and then make sure to sprinkle relevant keywords throughout your profile. Your profile will show up in searches that are looking for the skills for which you are most heavily endorsed. The more you are endorsed for those skills, the more frequently LinkedIn will suggest endorsements to your connections. You can manage the order of your endorsements and decide which ones you want to appear. If you’re endorsed for skills that are not in line with your career goals, simply delete them.
It’s great to give recommendations, but even better to receive them. Requesting recommendations from a small group of well-connected people is a great place to start. You can request a recommendation from one of your connections directly through LinkedIn—and this makes it easy on them. They receive a link in their email and that takes them directly to the page to write a recommendation for you. To send a request, you click on the little down-facing arrow to the right of the blue button that says, “View Profile As” and click on “Ask to be recommended.” Then follow the prompts. You can even select multiple connections at the same time, but be cautious that a customized message will be better received than a generic one to multiple people.
Following Companies & Joining Groups
Look for companies you admire both inside and outside of your industry. This sends a signal to your network about your interests and helps you broaden your scope. The same is true for groups. Be selective here and do your research because there are so many groups out there. The way to benefit from an affiliation is to be calculated in your choices and try to join groups in which people you admire or connections you desire, also happen to be a member.
Make sure you are active in LinkedIn’s version of email. Check your regular email for notifications from LinkedIn and make sure your email is correctly listed in LinkedIn. This ensures that your settings permit you to receive LinkedIn notifications to your regular email. You want to be aware of new messages, endorsements, connections, and recommendations. The last thing you want to have happen is to miss out on a potential job lead or opportunity simply because you haven’t checked LinkedIn for a few days.
Happy Job Hunting!
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