(This is a guest post I wrote for a favorite client’s blog this week.)
LinkedIn announced today that it posted record second quarter financial and operating results — including a 59 percent increase in revenue over the second quarter of last year. Two new users join LinkedIn every second. It is clearly the place to be and be seen for people who have jobs, need jobs, or own businesses.
So how do you leverage this burgeoning resource without it becoming another time waster?
Post a profile picture. Profiles without photos have the distinct feel that one of your kids created the account and you don’t even know how to log in. Don’t approve a connection without a photo as a general rule, because too many faceless connections makes your network appear hinky. Also check the profile picture settings under your privacy controls and make sure your photo is visible to everyone.
Fill in your profile completely. Like it or not, this is your new resume. One new job hunting trend is to use a LinkedIn URL in lieu of a street address on resumes. Don’t use like buzzwords like “responsible” or “effective,” but mention specific, measurable accomplishments. Ask for help from a professional or trusted friend if you’re not completely confident about your ability to create eye-catching content.
Link to your employer’s page. Business pages are a relatively new feature on LinkedIn. If your company has not yet created a page, be the hip employee who points out they are missing a fast-moving marketing opportunity. If they recently created a page, you must edit your profile, retype the company name, and click on the appropriate link to be directly connected. Then take another second and follow your company.
Create a business page. If you are an entrepreneur now is the time to get your business presence established on LinkedIn. The step-by-step process is very simple and allows for posting of your logo, contact information, and products. You can even post jobs and links to work samples, websites and videos.
Let them search your email. This may feel like you’re giving the green light to Big Brother, but it is the most efficient way to build your connections. Go through the lists and send requests once, adding a personal note to each one (but only after you have uploaded a profile picture).
Endorse carefully. I regularly decline endorsements for skills I don’t possess. Just because LinkedIn is suggesting you click “endorse” doesn’t mean your connection has requested it. Only endorse people for skills you are aware of through your own experience. Your face will be right there next to the thumbs-up so you want to ensure it’s not misleading.
LinkedIn is certainly making a lot of noise these days and not to be ignored by the savvy professional. Take note of these quick tips and you will make the most of this trendy tool.