There are many books and YouTube videos promising to help you do just that but determining what information is actually helpful can be time consuming and counterproductive. Fortunately for you, it’s my job to wade through all that information for you. If you’re short on time, here are 5 actions that will make your profile more visible on LinkedIn and you can complete each of these actions in 60 seconds or less.
Complete all sections of your LinkedIn profile – About, Featured, Background, Skills, Accomplishments, Additional Information, and Supported Languages (if applicable). It doesn’t matter if you have 1 item or 10 items to include. LinkedIn has its own search algorithm for recruiters and completed profiles rank higher than incomplete profiles. It doesn’t matter how qualified you are if your profile doesn’t make it into the search results. Want to know if your profile is complete? Look for the “All Star” icon in the top right corner of “Your Dashboard” when viewing your profile.
Request a recommendation from a co-worker, supervisor, or client in your network. Profiles with recommendations rank higher than profiles without them. To request a recommendation, go to the person’s profile. To the right of their name you will see the blue “Message” button. Click the white “More” button in order to access the drop down menu. Select “Request Recommendation.” A dialogue box will open asking the nature of your relationship to the recipient of the request (e.g. co-worker) and your job title at the time you worked with this person. Click “Next” and a generic message will appear asking for a recommendation. To increase the likelihood that you will receive a strong recommendation, delete the generic message and create a personalized message asking for a recommendation. It doesn’t have to be lengthy – 2-3 sentences are sufficient. If you have more than 60 seconds, you can include a pre-written recommendation that the recipient can simply cut and paste in response. It saves the recipient time and makes giving you a recommendation effortless.
Follow any company that you are even remotely interested in working for. When recruiters from this company search for job candidates on LinkedIn, the profiles of those individuals who follow the company will rank higher in their search results. To follow a company, type the company name in the Search Box. When the company name appears, click the company logo to go to the company’s LinkedIn page. On the company's home page, you will see a blue button labeled “+ Follow” directly below the company name. Click the “+ Follow” button and voila!
Upload a sample of your work. To upload a sample of your work, go to your personal profile. To the right of your name click the blue button labeled “Add profile section” to access the drop down menu. Select “Featured” to access its drop down menu. From there you can select “Links” to add links to web content that you’ve created and/or you can select “Media” to upload photos, documents, presentations, or any other work related content. Remember to click the blue “Save” button when you are done. Uploading a work sample gives recruiters an opportunity to see the quality of your work.
Leave a thoughtful comment on someone else’s post. It’s not enough to “like” a post or to leave a generic comment like, “Wow! This is a great post.” A thoughtful comment is one that shares additional (and relevant) information or explains how the post has impacted you personally. A thoughtful comment will grab the attention not only of the person who created the post, but also the attention of all the other people (outside of your network) who see the original post.