Are You LinkedIn or Linked Out?

careers-linkedin-linkedoutRain, rain, rain, and more rain. We are in the month of June, but Mother Nature has other ideas. I am attending the Capital Jazz festival tomorrow and while I am looking forward to a variety of outdoor concerts, sitting in the rain is not so appealing to me.

So, I am pleading with Mother Nature to show the DC area some love and send sunshine our way, please, pretty please:)

If you are serious about your career or have finally joined the online, social media party, you know that LinkedIn is an important career management tool and professional network building resource.

However, if you are simply doing a copy-and-paste to create your LinkedIn profile with no real strategy for optimization and branding, you are missing out in a big way.

There are a few strategies that can enhance your LinkedIn user experience, increase your profile’s presence and provide you with better results overall. How many of the following have you implemented?

  • Add a professional picture. LinkedIn research suggests that profiles with pictures are 9 times more likely to be viewed by other users…hmm, kinda like online dating right? More interest is peaked when there is picture.
  • Complete the experience section. There is nothing more boring and empty that an incomplete LinkedIn profile – being a mystery does not work on LinkedIn, research also suggests that profiles with at least two positions (including current one) are 7 times more likely to get a second look. My advice is to fill out the experience section in its entirety even if you are just providing a brief overview of each role.
  • Have at least 50 connections. Now you may think “I don’t know that many people”, but once you get active on LinkedIn, your network can grow very quickly. At least 50 connections will allow you to reach key professionals in your industry and help you source identify second- and third-degree contacts.
  • Take advantage of the vanity URL. When you set up a LinkedIn profile, you can also customize your URL with your name to increase optimization and make easier for people to find you.
  • Highlight your skills. Populating the specialties and skills sections will boost your LinkedIn profile’s overall optimization and enhance the chances of your profile coming in searches done by employers and recruiters.
  • Maintain confidentiality when needed. If you are actively job searching and don’t want to alert your current employer, simply adjust your settings to turn off your activity broadcasts, hide your certain connections and conceal your LinkedIn group activities.
  • Stay abreast on current events. By using the LinkedIn Today feature, you can easily view trending topics and popular articles shared across your immediate connections, professional community and shared groups.
  • Get LinkedIn to go. Thanks to advanced technology, you can have LinkedIn where ever you with its mobile – connect, respond and reach out to colleagues on the go. Now what can be easier than that?