LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world. Every second, someone joins the now multi-billion dollar networking platform. It’s the brainchild of social-networking pioneer Reid Hoffman, who launched LinkedIn in 2002 with money he made from the sale of PayPal. Linkedin today hosts more than 600 million professional profiles, which means nearly an unlimited supply of network connections and job opportunities. From seeking a new job to maintaining your personal brand, using LinkedIn is an important part of being a full-fledged professional in any industry these days. But is there more to it? Here is why you and everyone you know needs a Linkedin account and what more can you get out of it
Network, network, network!
Can I emphasize this enough? LinkedIn is such an important networking tool for professionals. Even if you’re an introvert and hate networking events, you can still foster meaningful LinkedIn connections. Through LinkedIn, you can build a relationship with mutual connections, folks in your field, and even your greatest role models.
These days, many companies maintain their own LinkedIn pages where they’ll update company information, share company news and insights, and showcase current employees. If the company knows what it’s doing, you should get a good, solid feel for its culture and its people to make sure it’s a fit for you before diving into the interview process or accepting a job.
Personal websites are great for this, but they often come with extra costs — and hours and hours of building and finessing. LinkedIn is a simple way to put your name on the professional map. Upload a professional profile picture and write a powerful summary that emphasizes your strengths and showcases your personality. When recruiters, employers, co-workers, and managers peruse your profile, they should be able to gain a strong understanding of who you are and what skills you bring to the table.
A well written LinkedIn profile will give you credibility and will establish you as a trustworthy potential employee. Every time a recruiter contacts you, you can be sure that they’ve looked at your profile. Your LinkedIn profile will act as a validator in that you are a real person, and not someone who’s CV or resume is too good to be true.
LinkedIn provides one of the best opportunities to increase your visibility and credibility with members of your brand community. It lets you stay connected to large networks of contacts. Now that you can add videos and images in your summary and experience fields, you can develop a truly three-dimensional view of your brand. Using all the features of this powerful online tool will help you paint a compelling picture of who you are in the real world.
Add Media Files To Your Profile
Did you know that LinkedIn enables you to include a variety of media files like videos, documents, photos, links, and presentations in your profile? Adding such media files to your ‘featured, education and experience sections of your LinkedIn profile further authenticates it. It allows you to show samples of your work and the projects you have worked on in the past.
To add media files,
Click on the ‘edit profile’ option. Then look for the pencil icon on the top corner of each section, and click on it to find the options to add media in different formats.
Publish Some Long-Form Content
Creating and sharing insightful content on your LinkedIn account is a fantastic way to establish yourself as a leader in your industry. The most obvious ways to do this are posting status updates or leaving comments on relevant posts. But LinkedIn also has an easy-to-use (and recently updated) editor, which allows you to post
blog-style articles to your profile.
Discover Your Earning Potential
LinkedIn has a neat feature that’ll tell you how much you should expect to earn depending on your job title and location. To get the most out of this feature, you’ll need to submit your own salary (which is kept private). Then, LinkedIn will show you some interesting data, including how salaries are distributed based on location, industry, and company size. You’ll see the education level of most people in that position, and the field in which they studied. You can find this feature right here.
Use Boolean Search
To make quick searches on LinkedIn more targeted, you can combine or limit terms with certain modifiers to create Boolean searches. This is also possible when searching Google, along with many other Google search tricks. This makes it possible to search for profiles that contain exact phrases by surrounding the phrase in quotation marks.
Search for profiles containing at least one of many terms by separating the terms with “OR” (capitalized).
“Technology Journalist” OR “Technology Reporter”
Search for profiles containing two or more separate terms or phrases by separating the terms with “AND” (capitalized).
“Technology Journalist” AND “San Francisco”
Be more restrictive in your searches by limiting results with the “NOT” modifier (capitalized).
“Technology Journalist” NOT “Gawker”
And combine different modifiers for more complex searches.
“(Technology OR Tech OR Startup) AND +
Keep Your Connections Private
If you want to prevent poachers from scouring your list of connections for potential clients and employees, you’ll want to make sure your network is private so only you can see your list.
To do this, click your profile picture, and select Settings and Privacy. Go to the Privacy tab, click Who can see your connections, and change this to Only you.
Send free messages to LinkedIn Premium members you are not connected to
You can send free messages to LinkedIn Premium members who have turned on their Open Profile setting. You can identify these members by the gold LinkedIn icon appearing on their personal profiles as well as beside their names in the search results.
LinkedIn Premium members who have not turned on the Open Profile feature have a lock icon located in the message button. To take advantage of this feature, when searching for prospects you are interested in using LinkedIn’s Advanced Search, look for Premium members with an Open Profile. Once you find a good match, click on the Message button to send them a message.
There’s a really simple way to showcase your best work to anyone looking at your profile: it’s via LinkedIn’s Featured section. It allows you to highlight the elements of your profile you want to draw your readers’ attention to. It’s located at the top of your LinkedIn profile just below the About section and above your Activity section.
Unlike the Activity section of your profile, which highlights all your activity of the past 45 days and lists it in reverse chronological order, LinkedIn’s Featured section allows you to choose the content you want to showcase to those who view your profile.
Any media you previously included in your About section has been moved to the Featured section.
In this section, newly added featured content will show up first by default, but you can easily reorder it. You can also edit or delete content within this section at any time.
see saved searches, and LinkedIn will automatically send you leads
When you find a set of particular search criteria that provides highly targeted results for you, you can save your search using the Save Search option. You can see the Save Search feature on the Search Results page on the right side near the top of the page.
LinkedIn will send new leads to your inbox, based on the preferences and the search criteria you specify. You can also click on the number in brackets beside the search name to go directly to the results of that search. This is a fantastic feature – be sure to take advantage of it.
Get your account unrestricted
Has LinkedIn restricted your account and banished you to LinkedIn jail? If you are not sure, here is how to tell. The most obvious sign is you are now required to know the email address of every single person you try to connect with.
This happens when five people have clicked the I Don’t Know This Person option. If this happens to you, you can ask the support team to remove the restriction, letting them know you understand the issue and ask for forgiveness.