9 Ways to Up Your LinkedIn Game
In this hyper-connected world, the old cliche that it's not what you know but who you know has never been truer...
We asked LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, for their advice on how you can supercharge your LinkedIn profile to increase engagement, grow your connections and open up new career opportunities. Here’s what we found.
1. Use a professional photo
Replace that grainy headshot you cropped out of a holiday photo with something a little slicker. It might cost you a few dollars to get something professional done, but it’s worth it. Profiles with photos are 14 times more likely to be viewed and enjoy a 40% higher InMail response rate.
2. Write a descriptive headline
Don’t just use your job title – that’s what the career section is for. Make your headline attention-grabbing, focusing on what drives you and how you add value. Just be careful with buzzwords like “passionate”, “motivated” and “strategic”. They’re not bad words per se but used injudiciously they lose their power.
3. Write a great summary
The key to a good summary is to go heavy on your accomplishments and pack it full of strong, eye-catching keywords. Again: go easy with the corporate doublespeak.
4. Personalise your LinkedIn URL
A lot of people don’t realise this is possible but you can customise your profile’s URL, turning it from an alphanumeric salad into this: http://www.linkedin.com/in/yourname. It means you’re more likely to appear in search results and it also looks better added to the top of your resume or in your email signature.
5. Become a content machine
Share well, and share often. By posting industry-relevant articles from reputable sources to your LinkedIn feed several times a week you increase engagement and widen your network. One good source of content you should consider is Canon’s own Business Insights. Posting content from Canon helps drive brand awareness and sales, and can attract quality hires.
The best posting practice is to provide your own commentary above the article. This encourages others to comment and shows you to be someone who’s engaged with the issues within their industry.
6. Detail your career history comprehensively
Your work experience is your most valuable selling tool because it’s proof of your ability, so take the time to do this section right. LinkedIn says you’re 12 times more likely to be viewed if you have more than one position listed.
7. Add skills…
The key here is to add a mix of high-level and niche attributes. If you’re in digital marketing then adding “digital marketing” as a skill is a necessity but hardly sets you apart. Look to add skills that flesh you out as an all-round performer – project management, strategic planning, contract negotiation – plus skills that show you have knowledge of a particular system or methodology relevant to your industry. LinkedIn says that people who list at least five skills receive up to 17 times more profile views.
8. ...and get endorsements
LinkedIn has no built-in way for you to ask people to endorse your skills, but if you get in the regular habit of endorsing others, the favour is usually returned.
9. Request recommendations
You might not be comfortable asking people to write nice things about you, but most people will be happy to do so – especially if you write something nice about them first. Requesting recommendations is also a great way to stay connected with colleagues and contacts and get yourself front-of-mind.
So instead of treating your LinkedIn profile as a form that you only need to update when you reach a career milestone, start engaging with your network and you'll soon see your profile begin to grow in meaningful ways.
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