Your LinkedIn profile is perfect. You've taken care of the basics by making sure that your location and contact information are up to date. You have a great headline, headshot and cover art. You've told your story in the summary space and have transferred your resume data to your experience section. LinkedIn has likely deemed you an "All Star."
What now? What's the best way to use LinkedIn?
I get asked that a lot, especially by people who aren't on the prowl for a new job. Oh my goodness, you're just getting started. Remember, LinkedIn is a social network. You've made sure people know who you are and what you're about and of all of your accomplishments. You've talked at your network but not with your people.
Here are three things you can and should do on LinkedIn to take advantage of that perfect profile and stay top of mind among recruiters and others who can help you when you are looking for a new opportunity. I'm talking just a few minutes a week or -- if you really are an all star -- every day.
1. Like, comment and share.
Hop on LinkedIn and see what people in your network are posting. See a story you like or that pertains to your work or industry? Give it a thumbs up, add a comment or share it to your network with a comment.
Did you read a story in The New York Times or on Yahoo that your network would appreciate? Well, copy that link and post it to your LinkedIn feed explaining why it's interesting or relevant.
Maybe you wrote a story or were quoted in a story. By all means share these things with your LinkedIn world.
You become what you put out there. If you're an SEO expert and you share stories about how companies can attract more website traffic, you'll solidify your expertise in the minds of your network. It's all about being curious, showing interest, giving kudos and sharing knowledge.
2. Endorse for skills.
Another quick and easy thing to do is endorse other people for their skills, validating what those you know do well. If you're on someone's profile page, you might see a prompt to do this. Recently, I was on a friend's profile and saw this message: "Amy, you are skilled in press releases. Do you want to endorse Andrea for press releases?" Of course! Done in one click.
What's great about endorsing people, other than it being a nice thing to do for them? Payback. Often the people you endorse will endorse you for your skills, too. Plus, having at least five skills on your profile gets you 17 times more profile views and 31 times more messages from recruiters and others who can help you succeed and get ahead, according to a LinkedIn spokeswoman.
3. Say congrats.
Check your LinkedIn notifications and you'll see who got a new job or promotion and who's celebrating a job anniversary. In one click, you can say congratulations. With a few more keystrokes, you could type in a more personal message.
It seems silly, but I've found it worthwhile. For starters, it can help you meet your LinkedIn activity quota. You can say to yourself, "I got on LinkedIn and did this one thing today, put this one little bit of positivity into my professional circle."
There have been times when my contacts have reached out to me after such a small interaction. It's like I gently and unintentionally reminded them of my existence. I've caught up with old friends this way, and I've earned work from connections this way, too.
Bottom line: You should use LinkedIn as a two-way conversation. Now go out there and rock that perfect profile by being social. That's what you're there to do, after all.