Finding a new job may be as easy as adding a photo to your LinkedIn profile. Nicole Williams, spokeswoman for the site and career coach extraordinaire, shows us how to make the world's largest professional networking site work for us.
1. Add more than one position
"Your profile is 12 times more likely to be viewed if you have more than one position listed. It really is worth taking the time, even if you worked in a different industry. One great example is a friend who said, 'I used to work in nursing years back and now I'm in marketing. There's no connection between it.' It turns out that Proctor and Gamble was looking for someone who had a background in medicine and that was what ended up putting her ahead. So list positions including internships and volunteer work. Recruiters are on LinkedIn and by virtue of the way they're searching, using key words and the duration of your career, they'll be able to find you better."
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2. Share something
"On your profile page there is a 'Share' component. Say you've read a great article -- share it with your community. You should be sharing so that you're top-of-mind. You're illustrating the fact that you're learning things and you become known as an influencer within your community. Statistically speaking, we know that if you share once a week you increase your chances of having your profile viewed by a recruiter tenfold."
3. Add a photograph already
"Your profile is seven times more likely to be viewed if you add a photograph. We use the analogy of, you're looking for a house and [the listing] is fantastic and you're like, "This is perfect for me," and then there's no picture. The question is, "Is this legitimate?" That's what ends up happening on your profile. A photograph legitimizes who you are. And smile. Add some energy to it."
4. Aim for at least 50 connections
"Fifty is the magic number in terms of making professional connections and taking advantage of a second- and third-tier relationship. But the whole strategy is really about quality and not quantity. It's all about having relationships that matter, people who you can actually call on if you need them. It's not like Facebook or Twitter where numbers indicate influence. Really, this is about who you could actually pick up the phone and ask for a career-related favor."
"People don't realize they can take advantage of groups on LinkedIn. If you're in an industry, look for the top-rated industry groups. Because these people are attached to their professional affiliations, the kind of discussions they're having are very educated. The groups allow you to spread your working wings a little further without having to leave your home. These are, essentially, networking resource information groups that you can be a part of very easily."
“If there is someone in your industry who you’d like to get to know, don’t use the standard connection request. Send a tailored note. Create some kind of reference that you have in common. Whether or not you went to the same school or perhaps you’ve read something about this person in an industry magazine. You can say, ‘Hey, congratulations! That’s great work. I’d really love to follow your career. You’re doing something really interesting and I’d love to learn from you.’ That kind of connection request is going to garner a response so much more so than the standard request.”