With 175 million members and a new member joining approximately every two seconds, LinkedIn is an excellent way to stand out in your field—if you know how to work it. Here are five tips from the LinkedIn team that will help you stand out from the pack:
Sharing is caring: LinkedIn counts executives from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies as members and its corporate hiring solutions are used by 85 of the Fortune 100 companies. Professionals who share articles or content with their LinkedIn network at least once a week are nearly ten times more likely to be contacted by a recruiter for new opportunities than people who don’t share with their network. So ask your network a question via your status update like, “I’ve got a new business pitch with Nike tomorrow. Does anyone have any contacts over at Nike?” Or make a general comment like, “I’m heading to the airport for a client meeting in Denver.” Remember: it’s about quality over quantity because every status update you share is a reflection of who you are as a professional.
Find the right experts fast: LinkedIn Advanced People Search helps you easily uncover experts and sources when you’re working on a big project. You can search by company name, company size, keywords, title or any other facet to find exactly the source you need. Click on the person’s profile and you’ll see if anyone in your network knows them and can introduce you.
Create a schedule: Think you don’t have the time to be active on LinkedIn? With their handy mobile and iPad apps, you can connect on the go. Share industry stories via LinkedIn Today and also check out what your network has been reading and sharing too—all while commuting to work. Maybe a connection is going to be in the same city as you next week or someone is looking for a freelancer to help with her content development. You’ll know before you hit your desk.
Dress it up: People always say dress for the job you want, right? Well, maybe it’s time to dress up your online profile picture. People with LinkedIn Profile photos are seven times more likely to have their profiles viewed. Having a more polished image will not only make you visible, but it also lets employers know that you are serious about representing their company in the most professional way. A bare bones profile and presence on LinkedIn suggests that you don’t have stellar online networking skills. Plus, you’re twelve times more likely to have your profile viewed if you add more than one position to your profile.
Be a cheerleader: No one likes a Debbie Downer. Stick to an upbeat positive persona when it comes to your professional life. If you need to vent about your leaky basement, bad hair day or crying baby—save it for another social network. Follow companies you admire and who are part of your “dream list.” And, of course, follow your own company and share relevant updates. Post unique content that your company has developed or share industry stories that you think your network will find interesting. LinkedIn’s Company Page is a good example to check out, as are the company pages of Philips, Citi, HP and Dell.
For more on LinkedIn, check out our Recessionista-in-Chief’s interview with CEO Jeff Weiner on “Bloomberg West” here!