LinkedIn can prove a simple place to stay in touch with former colleagues, connect with others in your industry, find opportunities and stay on pulse with the hot topics relevant to your profession–but it probably has a few norms you don’t know, that can beef up LinkedIn presence.
I sought the advice of several LinkedIn experts in a piece that I recently wrote for LearnVest, but space constraints forced me to pick and choose what was included.
In that spirit, here are ten important LinkedIn tips I received that, though valuable, didn’t make the cut. The best part about them? They’re small but mighty improvements that can boost the value of LinkedIn, whatever your objective–and they take less than twenty minutes a day.
1. Change/update your profile pic. LinkedIn’s career expert Catherine Fisher says it makes your profile 14X more likely to be viewed. Milennials change their profile pics the most often–and are the most viewed demographic on LinkedIn.
2. Put a professional face forward. With that pic above in mind, follow this rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t wear it to the office or industry event, it has no place in your LinkedIn pic. (In other words, no sunglasses on your mug, or glass of bubbly in your hand).
3. Change how your perceive LinkedIn. Fisher made an important comment during our interview:
“LinkedIn isnt’ just about being hired. It’s being amazing at the job you have.”
So often, LinkedIn is a tool that many of us don’t think about until we want a new job, opportunity or connection. But to be really impactful, it’s a tool you should check in with consistently.
4. Add an educational designation/certification behind your name. If you earned an MBA, PMP or similar advanced degree or respected industry designation, add it to your professional title. Fisher says that noting your education in your profile, even it was years ago, drives ten times the profile views.
5. Don’t be too brief in your summary. It should be at least 40 words in length, according to Fisher.
6. Share your volunteer experience. Fisher says that 42% of hiring managers consider it as important as professional accomplishments–especially if you’re newer in your field, and lacking in on the job experience.
7. Check out your competition. Search your peers (who are really your industry “competitors”) by job title. Scour their profiles to identify keywords they leverage, that you missed. See what groups they’re a part of, and what kinds of articles they comment on.
8. Earmark a few minutes a day to LinkedIn. Comment on things you find interesting, join the groups to which your peers belong, and follow influencers you want to emulate. Become a part of the LinkedIn conversation. Not only will you learn, you’ll increase your presence among like-minded professionals, and hiring managers that may check out your activity. (Yes, they can do that). Set a timer for your activity to ensure it’s productive.
9. Spend less time “endorsing.” Endorsing takes about a second–and everyone on LinkedIn knows it. It’s a nice compliment, but let’s face it: It doesn’t carry much weight. If you’re genuinely supportive/impressed by your previous encounter(s) with a LinkedIn connection, take a few minutes to write an actual LinkedIn recommendation. Ideally, they’ll return the favor.
10. Upload a screen capture of a recent project or accomplishment. Social media users are highly visual, and short on attention. Though your content on your profile should leverage relevant keywords that improve the likelihood you’ll show up in search results, take a moment to upload supporting links, screen captures and video that visually demonstrate skills, under the appropriate experience heading.