With over 250 million users, LinkedIn has become the place to be for anyone looking to make a professional connection. And while there are some tips to effectively using the site that most people should know – such as using a polished profile picture, and making sure your profile is 100% complete – there are a few other things you could be doing to ensure that you get the most from the social network. Here are three that you might not have thought of:
Get a recommendation when possible: In the minds of a lot of potential employers, recommendations > endorsements. While LinkedIn makes it ridiculously easy to click and assign a skill to a connection, that’s exactly the problem. Because it is too simple to do, endorsements may not be taken as seriously as a recommendation when someone is looking to verify your qualifications. Having a connection actually sit down and write out a thoughtful recommendation with details about the nature of the work you’ve done or your expertise is a much better way for them to vouch for your skill set. You also shouldn’t be so quick to accept every endorsement either. The selection criteria for which skills are presented to your connections is based on keywords, some of which may not apply to the job you’re currently seeking. Those clicks could also be moving weaker skills to the top of the pile, showcasing areas where you’re not most proficient. It’s always useful to go through your endorsements every once in a while to do a bit of editing.
Make your activity private: When you get a notification in your inbox asking you to congratulate a connection on a new job, that person may not actually be moving to a new position. More than likely, they probably just didn’t turn off their activity broadcasts. Every time you make any change to your profile, make a recommendation, or follow a company, a notification gets sent out to all of your connections. You may not want everyone to know that you’re polishing up your profile before you start your job search, or following potential new employers to do some research about a company that you’re interested in. Recruiters may also see a profile update as a promotion and decide not to reach out with a possible opportunity. To turn off your activity broadcast, go to your Account Settings and click on ‘Privacy & Settings.' Under ‘Privacy Controls,' the first option is to turn on/off your activity broadcasts. Turn it off and keep your business to yourself.
Make sure your profile is public: While you might not want folks to know every little step you take on LinkedIn, you also don’t want them to miss you altogether either. If you are actively seeking employment or networking opportunities, your profile should be publicly visible to everyone. I’m not a fan of clicking to “see who’s viewed my profile," and realizing that half the views are labeled ‘Anonymous.' In my opinion, it defeats the purpose of being on the network in the first place. A potential employer may actually choose to connect with you after seeing that you’ve checked them out. In those same ‘Privacy Controls,' you can “select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.' Choosing the first option makes your profile public.
LinkedIn can be a very valuable resource for anyone seeking employment. But you have to use the social network to its fullest potential in order to maximize your chances of landing that dream job. When it comes to your profile, details matter so don’t forget about the little things that could affect your search. Good Luck!
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