LinkedIn is not just for resumes anymore. According to recent research, 82% of users visit LinkedIn for professional reasons says Paul Haarman. While the site can be an invaluable career tool, some professionals are better at leveraging its features than others.
A recent infographic from Top Resume reveals some interesting statistics on the state of LinkedIn profiles across the world. For example, did you know that women have more connections than men? Or that 52% of professionals with one million or more connections consider themselves either “in-between jobs” or unemployed?
With these insights in mind, here are 15 ways professionals can stand out from their competition on LinkedIn:
1) Customize Your Background/Banner Image
Make sure your profile image reflects who you are professional. Perhaps you can use an image of your work or a recent project you’ve completed.
2) Optimize Your Profile for SEO
Just like on a website, you want your LinkedIn profile to be optimized for search engines. Use keywords in your profile that are relevant to your industry.
3) Connect with Colleagues and Peers
The more people you connect with on LinkedIn, the more opportunities you’ll have to grow your network. Try to connect with people you know professionally, as well as those you’d like to know professionally.
4) Join Groups Related to Your Industry
Groups are a great way to discuss topics relevant to your industry, meet new professionals, and expand your network.
5) Share Relevant Content Often
Make sure to share content that is relevant to your industry, such as whitepapers and infographics.
6) Follow Companies Related to Your Industry
Keep up-to-date on the latest developments in your field by following companies related to yours. Not only will this help you stay informed; it will also give you something interesting to talk about if you ever meet one of these company’s employees explains Paul Haarman.
7) Recommend and Be Recommended Often
The best way to get recommendations is by giving them often. When you endorse a colleague for a skill, they’ll receive an email asking them to return the favor (and then endorses back). If you’re not getting endorsed often enough, check out Top Resume’s list of the top skills for getting endorsed on LinkedIn.
8) Join Discussions and Start Them Yourself
LinkedIn is more than just a way to connect with people. It’s also a platform for professionals to share ideas and create dialogue around topics that matter most in their field. Furthermore, starting discussion threads will help you gain visibility and show off your expertise. Just make sure not to overdo it; otherwise, your connections may see you as “chatty.”
9) Don’t Be Afraid to Share Photos
It’s okay to use photos in your profile — especially if they emphasize your personality or background (think: images of you traveling or attending industry events). Just remember not to add too many photos, as this can overwhelm employers. If possible, upload images directly to LinkedIn.
10) Write a Compelling Summary
Your summary is your chance to show off who you are professional. Make it count by conveying what makes you unique and why employers should hire you. For more tips on how to write a compelling profile, check out Top Resume’s article: “How to Develop Your Best ‘About Me’ Page Yet.”
11) Use the Endorse Feature to Its Full Potential
The endorsement feature is powerful because it allows professionals to endorse their connections for skills they don’t have listed themselves. Therefore, make sure you request endorsements often and provide recommendations in return.
12) Save Some Time for Your Profile in the Morning
LinkedIn can be a time suck if you allow yourself to get sucked into following companies, reading news articles posted by your connections, and checking out everyone who has viewed your profile. Avoid this by setting aside some time in the morning when all you’ll do on LinkedIn is update your profile says Paul Haarman.
13) Consider Boosting Posts or Sponsored Updates
If you want to reach more people with your posts, consider promoting them through paid ads. Just keep in mind that not all content is suited for this treatment, so only promote the posts that you think are most valuable.
14) Use LinkedIn to Find a Job
LinkedIn isn’t just for networking; it can also be used to find a job. In fact, according to Jobvite’s 2016 Social Recruiting Survey, 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates, making it the most popular social media platform for recruiters. So make sure your profile is up-to-date and search for keywords related to the jobs you’re interested in. You may also want to consider using LinkedIn’s paid tools, such as Talent Solutions and Job Posts.
15) Take Advantage of LinkedIn Learning
LinkedIn Learning is a new feature that allows you to learn new skills from industry experts. It’s free to sign up for and offers courses in everything from business to design to development. So if you’re looking to learn a new skill or brush up on an old one, LinkedIn Learning is the place to go says Paul Haarman.
LinkedIn can be a powerful networking tool, but it’s not just for networking. It can also be used to find a job, learn new skills, and stay informed about developments in your field. Just make sure you’re using it to its full potential by following these tips.
Congratulations! You now have all the tools necessary to create an outstanding LinkedIn profile… Now go out there and get noticed!