LinkedIn continues to be cited as one of the top sites for sales professionals, recruiters, and job seekers. Is the site continuing its’ explosive growth? LinkedIn recorded 4.2 billion professionally oriented searches on the platform in 2011 and is on pace to surpass 5.3 billion in 2012. Additionally, they’ve added 1,000 employees this year. Yeah, that’s growth.
Looking for a promotion or ideas to advance in your current role? Use LinkedIn to search for people and titles of the jobs you’re interested in. This is great research for what skills you’ll need to obtain.
Use the CardMunch app for growing your network and LinkedIn connections. It’s quick and easy – use it for every person you meet and business card you receive.
Use spellcheck. As Steve Levy told me in a recent call, you don’t want the word moron added to your skills inventory. A great example of this: Are you the “Director of Pubic Relations”, or the “Director of Public Relations”.
Create a more compelling summary. Many LinkedIn profiles lack information in the summary which is near the top of the profile. This is a quick way to stand out from others on the site.
Take initiative beyond connecting. Don’t be afraid to ask for a call, a meeting, an informational meeting, or interview .
Write and include a creative headline in your profile.
Stay up-to-date with your network and use the site often. Don’t just engage with your network when you need something. Give back, frequently.
There are now more than 2.6 million company pages. Use the company search function and use the results to research and connect with employees from target companies and follow their pages.
Save time by signing up for job alerts – and let the site do the searching for you.
Clearly articulate the value and impact you have made in current and past positions.
Include specific information throughout your profile (context of roles, location, direct contact info, etc.).
Connect your LinkedIn profile from other sites you use (twitter, facebook, blogs, about.me, etc.).
Keep the skills section of your profile updated throughout the year.
Make an impact by sending personalized connection requests, don’t just send a blank or template-filled request. Feel free to practice by sending me a connection request, and yes, I’ll personally reply to your message.
Your LinkedIn profile should nearly mirror your Resume. State statistics and accomplishments.
Ensure your profile is 100% complete.
Provide and ask for endorsements and recommendations – use the functionality for both.
Update your status frequently (at least 2-3 times per month), share news, provide industry insights, etc.
In addition to the job search functionality, search for jobs within the groups you are a member of.
Know your value proposition and what you deliver to your network – or a company.
Create your own URL for your profile.
Include your LinkedIn profile URL in all online communication, especially your e-mail auto signature.
Focus on building your network before you need it. Identify and connect with people in your target industry with the right number of connections.
Understand the impact of search engine optimization and the use of keywords. Create a profile that takes advantage of the sites’ algorithms.
Research other people in your field with some other positions and look at how they’ve done their profiles. Read their recommendations and get competitive. Think like a recruiter, a researcher, or sales professional.
Use your LinkedIn reach with your twitter followers – with the “share update” check box in the status area.
Use the back links feature within your profile. Link to your company site, blog, twitter account, etc.
Want to know who’s talking about your favorite topics? Switch the search bar at the top right of your screen to “Updates” to find out. This is a great way to build new connections and find out what people in your industry are sharing. LinkedIn signal
Use the tags feature with your connections. The tagging feature is comparable to circles on Google +. This will help you categorize your connections and be able to quickly access and communicate with the right audience.
College graduates are the fastest growing demographic on the site (with over 20 million students and recent grads. Globally LinkedIn continues to add 2 new members every second and has 75,000 developers using APIs to create more tools and services (up from 60,000 earlier this year).
While the membership and network continue to grow, focus on the value of your network – that only you can create and deliver. Follow these 29 steps and you’ll quickly separate yourself from a majority of the sites’ users. Have other tips to share? Use the comments section.