First, make sure you know the anatomy of your LinkedIn profile.
1. Add a professional-looking picture to your profile.
Preferably a clear, well-lit headshot. “Professionals that add a photo are seven times more likely to have their LinkedIn Profile viewed in general than people who don’t have a photo.”
2. Create a great, clickable headline.
Use industry-specific buzzwords in your headline—you’ll show up in more searches and could get noticed in a sea of people. Also, don’t be afraid to present your headline as a list, for example, “Social Media Strategist | Social Media Consultant | Facebook Pro | Social Media Speaker.”
3. Actually, make your entire profile SEO friendly.
Update your LinkedIn with words that are similar to those that would be in a job description. This is important for things that are in the top of your profile, since they pack in more power for your viewers.
One way to find good keywords is to look at job descriptions and put that text into Wordle—see the most commonly used words and USE THEM. Also, if you do a couple of LinkedIn searches yourself, you can have a better grasp on what people look for.
4. You can search anonymously but still see who views your profile — only in the LinkedIn app.
When you add the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” shortcut on the mobile app, you can search all you want, without being revealed, so you can stalk to your curiosity’s content.
5. Use the “Classmate” option so you don’t have to use an email address to connect.
Okay yeah, so you both didn’t go to the same school…but take a chance, you never know what will happen.
6. Join a group to send messages to second or third degree connections.
When you want to send a message to someone that isn’t a first level connection, join a group they’re in. That way, you’ll technically be closer to them and when you search the group’s members page, you can message them easily from there. Or you can try OpenLink.
Also, if you’re active in the group, you can gain more visibility among industry insiders.
7. Use a screenshot to actually see who viewed your profile.
When someone looks at your profile, but it doesn’t explicitly say who, you can search through a list of about 10 possible viewers. If it isn’t obvious who it is after you look at the list, screen shot it and check the next day—LinkedIn renews the list, but keeps the one culprit every time.
8. You can make beautiful, printable resumes with LinkedIn.
Making a presentable resume can now be quick and painless with LinkedIn’s Resume Builder.
9. Keep your profile changes out of the network dashboard.
Open your eyes to the wonders of LinkedIn settings. You can regulate a bunch of things, like your activity feed and visibility. Now people won’t have to see the hundreds of times you changed your “Experience” section.
10. Get the LinkedIn 1st Degree Search plug-in for Google Chrome.
Now there is a LinkedIn equivalent to Facebook stalking. With the plug-in, you can search connections through your connections. Brilliant.
11. Endorse and be endorsed.
Sometimes you ignore those random endorsements, but little do you know that they help you appear higher and in more searches. So, endorse your friends, family, lovers, randos, and maybe you’ll get some love in return.
12. Easily reorder your sections based on personal preference.
Although this has been a feature since 2010, the somewhat new LinkedIn layout really makes this worth doing. If you want certain portions on top, like your skills rather than your summary, do it!
It’s worth noting that recruiters keep their eyes on resumes for at least 6.2 seconds, often looking at these six items. Since LinkedIn is an online resume, this statistic is something to think about.
13. Get the Cardmunch app.
If you ever get a business card, but you’re too lazy to sit down and search them on LinkedIn—scan it, upload it, and there you go. Although Cardmunch isn’t available for Android users yet, all of you iPhone elites can get the app here.
14. Save your searches.
The “Saved Searches” feature will help you keep track of job and industry postings. Instead of looking through your search archive all of the time, you can set up alerts that will tell you about any updates to your searches.
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