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7 Tips To Best Utilize LinkedIn

7 Tips To Best Utilize LinkedIn

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Spend any time on LinkedIn and you’ll see that the site is constantly changing. I can certainly vouch for that, given that I recently spent hours capturing LinkedIn screenshots for a workshop, only to have many of them out-of-date by the time I presented them… only a week later.

Related: 4 Reasons You Might Not Get Recommendations On LinkedIn

But with all the attention LinkedIn’s look and features get, what may have escaped your notice is just how much LinkedIn is transforming networking and job searching. It certainly becomes apparent, though, when reviewing the recently-released findings of the fifth annual Global Career Brainstorming Day, a collaboration between more than 150 career professionals from across the globe. The event, sponsored by Career Thought Leaders, discussed the “new” and the “next” trends in the careers industry, including how LinkedIn is evolving.

Here are some tips to best utilize LinkedIn gleaned from the Career Brainstorming Day report:

1. You snooze, you lose.

More and more, companies are going directly to LinkedIn to find potential employees, thus cutting out recruiters. If you don’t have a profile, or your profile is—yawn!—boring, you’re missing out.

2. Save for a rainy day.

Many professionals don’t give a second thought to LinkedIn… until they need a job, now. A smarter strategy is to make sure you’re making great contacts and solidifying relationships within your industry before you start a new job search. That takes time.

3. Contacts count.

In some industries, the size of your network really matters. Why? Potential employers are assuming you’ll leverage some of those contacts into new clients for their company. How big is big enough? Professionals in the careers industry recommend at least 100 people: roughly 25 family members, 25 friends, 25 former coworkers/contacts (people who may have knowledge of your prior performance), and 25 current business-related contacts, including colleagues, supervisors, customers, etc.

4. It’s all about the brand.

Your brand should be here, there, and everywhere… and taglines encapsulating your brand in a memorable, bite-size way are beginning to routinely crop up on all of a candidate’s career communications, from LinkedIn profiles to websites to resumes and cover letters.

5. Ditch the boards.

Job boards aren’t nearly as effective as networking your way into jobs you’re interested in. So if your time is limited, you’re better off leveraging LinkedIn’s networking capabilities than scouring the Internet for job postings.

6. Act the part.

If your target company projects a certain vibe with their communications, than you’ll increase your chances of success if you adapt the same tone in your documents and LinkedIn profile. A laid-back target company merits a more relaxed tone than a more, shall we say, distinguished employer.

7. Seeing is believing.

If you haven’t made the effort to incorporate visual pieces into your LinkedIn profile, you are wasting a terrific opportunity to catch the eye of potential employers or clients. You can include videos, presentations, written work, certifications, images, and more. Hey, if you’ve got it, flaunt it, right?

I share these tips with you because, as a career coach, I want job seekers to have all the tools necessary to find careers that they love. If the thought of trying to do all of the above is a little overwhelming, you’re not alone. Another finding of the Career Brainstorming Day was that, as LinkedIn and the job market evolve, many people need help in waging a strong campaign for that perfect job. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me or another job search expert to help smooth the way.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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Kristin Johnson Kristin is a TORI award-winning, 6-times certified resume writer, job search coach, and social media consultant. She's the proud owner of Profession Direction, LLC, which was recently named one of Forbes Top 100 Career Sites of 2013.