In 2003, the American business networking site LinkedIn was launched worldwide. Since then, it has become an integral part of business culture, giving people at all stages of their careers an outlet for building comprehensive networks virtually. Everyone from talented individuals just starting out to the world’s preeminent business mavens is just a click away.
Given the breadth of information and resources, LinkedIn offers and the hundreds of millions of people ready to connect on the platform, establishing a strong LinkedIn presence should be at the top of every career-minded person’s to-do list. Using the platform’s built-in tools, you can craft a polished profile that imbues your personal brand with trust and credibility while boosting your exposure to new opportunities.
In an October 2018 post, LinkedIn reported that engagement rates rose by more than 50% per year. Time has never been better to learn how to maximize your visibility on LinkedIn—and doing so could very well lead to the next big opportunity in your career. No matter which industry you’re looking for a job, a career in the non-durable consumer industry, or the tech industry, here are seven strategies for sprucing up your profile so you can use LinkedIn to your best advantage.
1. Keep Your Profile Up-to-Date
Ensuring that your profile is always completely up-to-date with respect to even the slightest detail is truly best. You never know when just one tidbit of information will move you higher in the search results for a potential client or employer. Plus, a neglected profile is easy to spot. Because LinkedIn members can view your profile 24/7, you want to make sure that yours clearly conveys that you are someone who is diligent about keeping your information current.
We are all used to making time for certain tasks at regularly scheduled intervals, such as visiting the doctor or dentist for a checkup. Why not make a regular appointment with yourself to reevaluate your LinkedIn presence?
2. Showcase Your Work
LinkedIn doesn’t want you to be shy about putting yourself and your accomplishments out into the cybersphere, and the platform makes showcasing your work easy using its Featured section. Attaching samples of your work to your profile gives you an excellent chance of broadening your reach with new connections. By exhibiting your skills and expertise liberally, you give your reputation and credibility a boost while increasing the chances that people will want to connect with you to discuss business opportunities.
3. Harness the Power of Keywords
Did you know that 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find job candidates? Recruiters conduct searches using keywords, so include terms in your profile that will matter most to your career trajectory.
If you aren’t confident about which keywords you should include, you can use a software tool to help, such as WordClouds. You could start by finding a handful of job postings for positions you might be interested in transitioning into and copying and pasting them into a single document. Then, see which words appear most often: these are your keywords.
If you want to increase your chances of appearing in someone’s search results, you should also maximize your use of keywords that highlight your skills. And if possible, use the maximum number of characters allowed for each section as well.
4. Update Your Profile Picture and Banner Background
Statistically speaking, LinkedIn members with profile pictures are likely to receive 21 times more profile views and nine times more connection requests than those without. Having a photo that looks professional increases the authenticity of your profile.
You can also customize the banner behind your profile picture to an image that radiates the qualities you want to be associated with, rather than using the default LinkedIn background setting. An engaging and authentic banner can go a long way in making a great first impression.
5. Request Recommendations
Recommendations are an excellent way of demonstrating the value of your contributions as an employee, and they help hiring managers understand the kinds of experiences others have had when working with you. You can tell a lot about a person’s work ethic, values, and reputation from their recommendations.
The best way to accumulate more recommendations for your profile is simply to ask for them. Remember also to reciprocate by providing recommendations for others.
6. Share Regularly
Get in the habit of sharing your work and thought leadership in LinkedIn posts because this is key to building your brand and the public’s perception of your expertise. Not only do such posts increase your engagement but they can also increase exposure for your employer. Although only 3% of employees tend to post content on LinkedIn, those who do have been found to generate 30% of their companies’ content engagement.
Regularly posting content can also help you establish beneficial content-sharing partnerships over the internet.
7. Use Hashtags Strategically
LinkedIn introduced hashtags in 2013, and they have become accommodating for individuals who wish to make their content more accessible and easily discoverable by searching on specific subjects. When used in the right way, hashtags can function like free SEO for your brand, allowing you to more easily showcase your expertise for exactly the people for whom your content is most relevant.
You can find out which hashtags are trending on websites such as this one. By choosing the most fitting hashtags, you can put yourself in the midst of virtual “communities” that bring together everyone in the same conversation related to your chosen topic. One of those conversations could connect with someone who wants to give you a new career opportunity.
Optimizing Your Content
Here are a few pointers to ensure your LinkedIn content is effective and compelling:
- Pick the right time to post. Certain days of the week and specific times of day will give your content maximum exposure. These can vary depending on the industry, geography, and specific audience you seek to engage.
- End your posts with a call to action (CTA). Giving your readers a clear CTA will increase your engagement rates.
- Create good content. Your audience deserves the highest quality content, so spend time carefully crafting your posts. Never underestimate the potential prominence of your audience, and respect your readers’ discernment.
- Automate your approach. Specially designed software tools can help you adhere to a regular schedule for producing and publishing your posts and for doing so at the optimum times.
- Proofread everything. Your words represent you, and polished writing is proof of your dedication to excellence. Read everything multiple times before you post it, and use spell check and language tools such as Grammarly to ensure you don’t miss any important grammatical points.
If you commit to using all these strategies regularly, you will undoubtedly improve your LinkedIn engagement rates. And chances are, that could lead to the next big step in your career.
Our Guest Contributor
Rachita Sharma is a tech entrepreneur, financial literacy advocate, and gender rights activist. She is committed to leveraging digital technology to improve efficiency and profitability. As CEO & Co-founder of Girl Power Talk, Rachita finds inspiration in Mother Teresa’s wisdom: “None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.” In 2020, she was awarded the ‘Most Promising Woman in IT‘ Award by ANWA and the Indian Achiever’s Award for ‘Young Entrepreneur’ to recognize inspiring social contributions. She was also recently recognized as one of the ‘100 Inspirational Women of 2021’.
Instagram: @girlpowertalk, Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachitasharma22/