In 2008 LinkedIn had approximately 30 million users. At the end of 2013 this number was nearly ten times this figure. Every second the LinkedIn network grows by two new users.

The vision of Jeff Weiner’s, the CEO of LinkedIn is “We aspire to build the world’s first economic graph; in other words, a digital mapping of the global economy, including a profile for every one of the 3 billion members of the global workforce, including all of their skills and expertise …..”

LinkedIn has also caused a huge shift in the recruitment process. More and more companies and recruiters are using the LinkedIn solutions to search and recruit their talent. As a LinkedIn member yourself, you can build relationships that will enhance your career and your business. The message is clear: you simply cannot afford not to be on LinkedIn. You will be out of the game. And that is irrespective of whether you are a job seeker or have a secured (for now) position.

Below you will find a list of 22 tips and tricks that can help you to be successful with LinkedIn whether you are looking for a job, having your own business or just simply playing around with it.

Tip #1 – Invest in a professional photo shoot

A good photo on LinkedIn is definitely a must-have and not a nice-to-have. It is proven that people are rarely clicking on profiles without photos. If you are on a thin budget and cannot afford a professional photo shoot, keep in mind that LinkedIn, unlike FB, is meant for professional purpose predominantly. Therefore your picture should also reflect this purpose.

  • Your photo should preferably be in colour
  • Headshot only
  • Professional means no family or holiday pictures
  • Your dress code should be in sync with the type of job you are after

Tip #2 – Use the right keywords

So what are actually the keywords? The keywords on LinkedIn are the same things as search words on Google. These are the words that help others (recruiters, business partners, hiring managers etc.) find YOU on LinkedIn.

So if a recruiter is looking for an Account Manager with experience in the Oil and Gas industry that is what he or she is going to type in on LinkedIn. Now, if your profile has those keywords it will rank your profile (high) on the LinkedIn search result. The profiles that get on top of the list are the ones, which have the highest density of keywords. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile has the right keywords that match your future job. How to do it? The best tip is to read between 5 and 10 job ads from your area of expertise and select the keywords that are crucial for those jobs.

Those keywords have to be sprinkled all over your profile so in your headline, summary and experience sections.

Tip #3 – Spend extra time to master your headline

This part is key as it is your first message to the world about who you are and what you do. People often put their current job only. This is a mistake. The headline is much broader than your current or last job only. You have 120 characters you can use in your headline. So use it!

Make sure that you not only include your function or title, but also your core skills and knowledge. So for example: Prince II practitioner, LinkedIn expert, Six Sigma / Black Belt, Social Media Strategist etc. If you are a business owner you can start with what you are actually doing, for example “Helping international women get a new job via LinkedIn” or “Helping small business owners double their clients’ base”.

Tip #4 – Your summary is your pitch

The summary section is a place to briefly introduce yourself to a person who is visiting your profile. It is also a place to make first contact, grab the reader’s attention and interest others to read further.

Show what you stand for, what is your bigger vision and what are your core qualities.

Never write about yourself in a third person. You want to make a connection. So instead of writing “Clara is an Digital Marketing Manager with 8+ years of experience in FMCG” write instead “I am an experienced Digital Marketing Manager with 8+ years of experience in FMCG”.

Do not forget to include the right keywords to make it easy for others to find you.

Tip #5 – Add a call to action to your summary

At the end of your summary, always include a call to action. In other words invite others (for example recruiters or hiring managers) to connect with you, email you or phone you. For example: “If you are interested feel free to contact me on 555-34290.”

Tip #6 – Include the correct location

Do not forget to include your location at the top of your profile just below your headline. If you have recently moved from one city or country to another, do not forget to alter your city. If you are looking for job in Amsterdam and you are currently in Amsterdam but your location still shows New Delhi or San Francisco, it could diminish your chance of getting one.

Tip #7 – Always include your contact details

When completing your profile do not forget to include your contact details. This tells people how they can contact you. Small thing, but oh so important…

Tip #8 – Include the rich visual media to your profile

To spice up your LinkedIn profile consider including photos, videos and ppt presentations. This will make your profile more appealing and interesting to read.

Tip #9 – Connect, connect & one more time connect

Why is it important to grow your network on LinkedIn? Several reasons:

  • The power of LinkedIn lies in the fact that in a few steps you can basically get connected to almost anyone in the world (who is obviously on LinkedIn). Your first grade connections give you direct access to your 2nd grade connections and your 2nd grade connections to the 3rd grade connections. The more 1st grade connections you have the better as they give you direct access to the still unknown others.
  • You will be perceived as a serious LinkedIn user if your connections show ‘500+’.
  • The more connections you have the more often and the higher in ranking you will appear in the search results.

Tip #10 – Check regularly ‘who has viewed my profile’ feature

You can see who is interested in you. You can also connect with those people who viewed your profile and ask if you could be of any help to them. This is an easy way to make new connections and broaden your network.

Tip #11 – Ask for recommendations

People want to hear the opinion of others about you, especially if they want to hire you or to buy from you. If you are looking currently for a job, this one is a must. It will show your future employer why they should hire you.

Think first what would you like to be recommended for and make the list. Then think of people who can recommend you for specific things. Personalize the request for recommendation and ask the person to get recommended for what you want to be recommended. This is much more powerful than sending a general request.

Tip #12 – Recommend others

If you want to be recommended, recommend others. The rule of reciprocity does miracles here. You can also go a step further and ask a person if he or she would want to be recommended by you and for what specifically.

Tip #13 – Add 50 skills to your profile

Recruiters and hiring managers use skills to search for the right candidates, so make sure you add all your skills. Add hard skills as well as soft skills.

Tip #14 – Endorse others for their skills

If you start actively endorsing others for their skills, guess what? They will endorse you back! The same as with recommendations again.

Tip #15 – Join the maximum amount of 50 groups

If you are looking to make new connections, if you are looking for a new job, two or better said thousands of heads are better than one. And that is what groups have to offer. Search your groups based on location, profession or interest.

Tip #16 – Participate actively in the group discussions

It is not enough to be a member of a group. The key lies in interacting with others. So answer the questions others have, ask your own, start discussions. The more you interact the more visible you become. You might think it is time consuming, so make sure to set the time to do it, for example 1 hour every two days.

Tip #17 – Follow the companies you are interested in

Make a list of the companies you are interested in and follow them on LinkedIn. You can get updates about the jobs the companies have to offer. You will find out who from your network is working in the companies of your interest.

Tip #18 – Follow the influencers

Follow the people you admire or who inspire you. Why? Often they have great pieces of advise, and you can share them again with your network to create more visibility.

Tip #19 – Share interesting updates with your network

The more you share on LinkedIn the more people will see you on LinkedIn. By sharing I do not only mean working on your profile but sharing interesting news that is relevant to your field and to others. You contribute to others and you get visibility!

Tip #20 – Publish your own content

What was in the past reserved for a small group of influencers is now an open feature. You can publish your own content on LinkedIn. Make a use of it and reach thousands of people this way.

Tip #21 – Consider upgrading your profile

If you are already doing all of the above, it might be useful to upgrade your profile for sometime. If you are a job seeker, the job seeker updated profile has interested features such as putting you on top of the list when you apply and viewing information of other candidate’s who applied. Often you can also try it for free for the first month, so you can play with it and see if it is helpful.

Tip #22 – A place for your tip!

Do you have another tip on how to master LinkedIn? Feel free to share it in the comments below!

LinkedIn is a powerful tool so make sure you use it well to your advantage so it works for you and not against you!

Give me a shout in the comments below if you have any questions regarding LinkedIn.