LinkedIn: Get found and stand out

decade ago, having a LinkedIn profile was a “good idea.” Being on LinkedIn was seen as “a little something extra” you might do to grow your network. Fast forward to today and LinkedIn has become an essential platform for professional career management.

Granted, not every industry is well represented on LinkedIn. For obvious reasons, you won’t find many police officers or attorneys promoting themselves on this platform. Do a thorough search to determine the value of LinkedIn for your professional goals. For most people, it is an excellent platform to build connections and convey a compelling brand.

LinkedIn requires time and effort to prove useful. Mediocre profiles that sit stagnant are of little value. Start by becoming proficient with the platform and building an “all-star” profile. Then by spending just a few minutes a day on the site, you can maintain a vibrant presence that will serve you well. 

I recommend clients spend 10-15 minutes a day on LinkedIn to ensure they are keeping their brands fresh and engaging. Imagine sipping your morning coffee while you network and connect to those in your professional circle. This is a habit worth forming!

The following tips can help you build a better profile and use the LinkedIn platform to its fullest advantage.

Make your LinkedIn page a true reflection of you. Include a recent and flattering headshot, a personalized background photo, and develop a compelling “headline.” Avoid using your current job title and company name as your headline. Never use something like, “seeking a new opportunity.”

Utilize the full 160 characters that LinkedIn allows in your headline to describe your professional identity and the value you provide. Look around at other profiles and notice what grabs your attention.

Next, use the Summary Section to its fullest advantage. You will notice that only the first few lines show up in a casual search. Still, you want to use all 2,000 character spaces to include industry keywords and summarize your experience.

LinkedIn bots continually scan profiles for key words. Your summary section is one of the main profile sections being scanned. Use your natural voice and a more conversational style in your summary and include important key words. Keep it professional but avoid using boring resumé speak. 

Once your profile is fully developed, use the 10 minutes a day strategy to connect with industry thought leaders, follow companies of interest, congratulate others, and make thoughtful comments to posts. Always interact positively and professionally.

Other activities include asking for and giving recommendations, joining and engaging with industry specific groups, and curating content to drive people to your profile. LinkedIn has made it easy to post your own articles, which is a great way to become a thought leader in your own right.

If you are actively job searching, consider paying for LinkedIn Premium. Take time to learn about and optimize the various profile settings. I highly recommend turning on the “recruiter” button. However, I do not recommend using the “one click apply” feature.  It is best to target your resume to each specific position. 

Many companies have strict LinkedIn policies so follow your employer’s guidelines. If you suddenly pop up on LinkedIn, it might signal to your boss that you are actively job seeking. However, if you have been active on the site all along, it won’t be as obvious. 

Check your LinkedIn account regularly. Respond promptly and acknowledge requests to connect, skill endorsements, recommendations, and comments. Show gratitude and appreciation when someone reaches out. This shows that you value professional relationships.

If you are on LinkedIn, be there in the most professional and positive way possible. If you cringe at the thought of someone looking at your profile, you have two choices. Delete your account or polish your profile and use LinkedIn to get found and stand out as a true professional.

Carrie Pinsky LPC is a career counselor and job search coach in private practice at Pink Sky Career Counseling. Reach her at carrie@pink-sky.net or 970-225-0772.

decade ago, having a LinkedIn profile was a “good idea.” Being on LinkedIn was seen as “a little something extra” you might do to grow your network. Fast forward to today and LinkedIn has become an essential platform for professional career management.

Granted, not every industry is well represented on LinkedIn. For obvious reasons, you won’t find many police officers or attorneys promoting themselves on this platform. Do a thorough search to determine the value of LinkedIn for your professional goals. For most people, it is an excellent platform to build connections and convey a compelling brand.

LinkedIn requires time and effort to prove useful. Mediocre profiles that sit stagnant are of little value. Start by becoming proficient with the platform and building an “all-star” profile. Then by spending just a few minutes a day on the site, you can maintain a vibrant presence that will serve you well. 

I recommend clients spend 10-15 minutes a day on LinkedIn to ensure they are keeping their brands fresh and engaging. Imagine sipping your morning coffee while you network and connect to those in your professional circle. This is a habit worth forming!

The following tips can help you build a better profile and use the LinkedIn platform to its fullest advantage.

Make your LinkedIn page a true reflection of you. Include a recent and flattering headshot, a personalized background photo, and develop a compelling “headline.” Avoid using your current job title and company name…