Anyone serious about networking should be on LinkedIn, or at least give it a shot. After all, the social platform for business now has more than 400 million members, and there's a good chance people who could help you with your career are only a connection away. If you're going to spend some time there, do it right--plenty of people could be doing a better job of attracting others to their profile, showing up in searches, and selling their professional attributes. That's according to Catherine Fisher, career expert at LinkedIn, who has several tips and tricks to help you get noticed by more people.
1. Always upload a profile photo.
If you do, your profile is 14 times more likely to be viewed. It will also give you a sense of owning your profile, which will motivate you to create a good online representation of yourself. Don't have a decent headshot? Check out LinkedIn's blog, which offers advice on how to take the perfect work selfie.
2. Create a catchy headline.
After your photo, this is the next thing people see. The key is to think about the word or two you want to come into people's minds first when they think of you, such as "mentor," "event specialist," or in my case, "journalist."
3. Use more than 40 words in your summary.
Doing so will increase your chances of showing up in search. The trick here, though, is to avoid words that everyone else is using. LinkedIn periodically crunches the numbers on the banal words people sprinkle onto their profiles, and right now they are: leadership, motivated, creative, passionate, strategic, successful, dedicated, driven, extensive experience, and organization. If you want to stand out, pull up a thesaurus and figure out how to avoid these words.
4. Upload examples of your excellent work into your summary.
LinkedIn makes it easy to add documents, photos, URLs, videos, and presentations to this space. It's like turning your profile into a portfolio.
5. Get specific about your experience.
The second section in your profile, Experience, is the meat of what you would have in a resume. But, instead of indicating that you "managed a team," give specifics about how you grew it, how many people you mentored, or how you delivered on certain sales expectations.
6. List more than one position in your experience.
The result? Your profile will be 12 times more likely to be viewed.
7. Include volunteer work.
It's a great way to round out who you are as a professional, especially considering 42 percent of hiring managers consider volunteer experience as important as work experience. So if you're trying to get into marketing and you've been doing marketing as part of your volunteer work, make sure that comes across.
8. Don't build your profile and never come back.
The more you put into networking, the more you'll get out of it. "So if you're getting a new promotion or if you received an award, make sure that you're updating that LinkedIn profile, because it's your digital representation of who you are as a professional," Fisher says.
9. Share and write content.
A great way to demonstrate your expertise is by publishing your own content. (Just make sure you have another set of eyes look at it first if writing isn't your forte.) Once it's posted on LinkedIn, go ahead and share it on your other social networks to drive even more engagement.
"Even if you're just taking 10 minutes a day over two to three days, you can create a great profile," Fisher says. "If you're looking to get hired, that's one of the first places people are going to look."