5 Best Practices for LinkedIn Success

As most of us know, LinkedIn is the social media site for professionals.  If you’ve been shying away from the site, now is the time to join! While the world is becoming more and more social media savvy, it’s important to have a place on the site made for employees, employers, and professionals in general.

LinkedIn does far more than allow you to add connections and show off your work experience; it can be a place to search for new jobs and applicants, as well as offer value to your followers and potential connections.  Read along for some simple best practices to start using LinkedIn to its fullest.

Solid Summary

Do you have a Professional Summary that really stands out? While it can be tempting to just put a sentence or two about what you do or what you’re looking for in a career, truly take some time to make it special.

In addition to writing a few key paragraphs that may include information such as: how you can assist those who work with you or hire you, what measurable results you’ve produced, and how to get in contact with you, you can also add media such as video, photos, presentations and audio.  By taking the time to add a solid, well-written summary (and bonus points for media additions!), you will be well on your way to standing out on LinkedIn.

Adding Value

How can you help those who come to your profile?  If you’re searching for a job, how can you show that you’re the best fit?  You can add value by posting daily or weekly posts, publishing longer blogs or articles in the Publishing section, or simply by posting helpful items of interest for your followers.

If someone is following you, what kind of information would they like to know?  What is your expertise and how can you give some of that away?

Value also comes in the form of showing potential employers, investors, and so on what you can do for them, if applicable.  Measurable results always sell, so be sure to include data, Recommendations, and other information as solid proof of your skills.

Contact Information

Don’t forget your contact information! It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget this.  Yes, you can contact someone through Linkedin direct mail, but someone may want to place an inquiry via email or by phone. Contact information also includes any and all websites that you’re a part of – make it easy for those clients, customers, and potential employers to find you and get in touch!

Professional Photo

While you don’t need to go so far as to hire a professional photographer just for a LinkedIn photo, it isn’t a bad idea.  If a professional photo isn’t in the budget, have a friend stage a nice area, put on a nice, professional outfit, and take a few photos.  LinkedIn photos should be headshots that are done in nice lighting, appropriate for the professional world, and include a smile.

Use it

LinkedIn won’t be much help to you if it’s never used.  Utilize the capabilities included on the site, add connections, and use it as your professional face to the world. Business people – whether that’s a potential client, employer, or employee – will look at your profile, so it’s important to put your best face and experience forward.

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