LinkedIn is a powerful tool for college students, professionals, and job seekers alike. I've been using this site for just over a year now and have found it very useful in the past few months of my job search. I came across an article from Business Insider on how to make the most of LinkedIn. I thought I would share with you some of the most useful tips:
Follow your favorite "Influencers" in Pulse
Did you know LinkedIn has been churning out original content from thought leaders around the world? The site's Pulse page collects posts from handpicked "Influencers" like Richard Branson, Martha Stewart, and Bill Gates. There are now about 500 Influencers from a wide variety of industries, and their stories are often collected in packages, like the recent "Best Advice" collection.
The Influencers you follow appear on your profile, so not only will you get the latest insights from incredibly successful people, but it also shows recruiters your interests and aspirations.
Share relevant articles with your network, and consider writing your own
While Facebook and Twitter are great outlets for sharing lighthearted viral content with friends, LinkedIn is the place to share articles and videos relevant to your industry and business in general.
You can use your LinkedIn blog to add a new level of personality and expertise to your page. Share details about your new job, showcase a new project you're working on, or share some professional insight that your network could learn from.
Join groups to improve your visibility
LinkedIn says that active group users get four times as many profile views as those who don't use this resource. A good place to start is to join your alma mater's official group and see what discussions are going on. And if you're on a job hunt, it could be a good place to reach out to alumni.
Endorse and recommend your connections
Don't forget to make use of endorsements and recommendations. It helps your connections build credibility and makes them more likely to return the favor. LinkedIn is also a perfect place to recommend colleagues with a brief anecdote, as well as ask for recommendations from previous employers. Don't waste your time with generic compliments — the only recommendations that matter to recruiters on LinkedIn are specific and to the point.
Tap into the job listings
There's an easy-to-use job listings tool that's helpful if you are either looking for a job or looking for an employee. All of your searches are kept private, so feel free to browse the listings LinkedIn recommends for you based on information in your profile, search for keywords, and find opportunities within your networks.
Use a professional headshot and a customized URL
Multiple reports have shown that LinkedIn pages with profile pictures get more views than those that don't. Your photo should be clear, not include other people, and be appropriate for your industry. If you don't have access to a professional headshot, use one where you look your best in proper business attire. Likewise, a customized URL will make you much easier to search, and it looks better than a jumble of numbers when you share your link.
Be sure to write a summary
Finally, don't neglect the crucial "Summary" box. Think of it as a first impression of your professional profile. It is also the perfect place for keywords that will enhance search engine optimization (SEO) benefits for your page.