How to get all eyes on you

During the first quarter of 2015 LinkedIn had more than 364 million members, up from 296 million members the previous year. Nearly 50% of its users are the final decision makers for their companies. Optimizing your LinkedIn profile is paramount. It is the largest business professional network in the world and your golden opportunity to get discovered, and to discover, all things business-related.

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

By far, the easiest way to splash some personality onto your LinkedIn profile-and the first big step in optimizing your profile-is with a snapshot of your pearly whites. It needn’t be a professional portrait, just a basic photo taken with your smartphone in three seconds flat, which you then upload to your account. LinkedIn specifies that your photo must be a JPG, PNG, or GIF file under 8mb in size and should have a resolution of 1400 x 425 pixels for the best look.

If you’re willing to up the ante, which does make sense in today’s super-competitive jobs market, a professional photo is ideal. A professionally taken photo also communicates a serious level of attention-to-detail on the part of the prospective employee.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION: MAKING YOUR KEYWORD-RICH PROFILE

Optimize your profile in order to get found by people searching the key terms that you want to get found for. Add industry-specific keywords to various sections of your profile steve-linkedinsuch as in your headline and summary. Creating a keyword-rich profile is well worth the extra 20 minutes of your time.

Unlike Google, LinkedIn’s search is almost completely driven by keyword density. Just search for “social media” to put it to the test. Look at the first profile that pops up and take note of how many times the term “social media” is used throughout the profile. Recruiters typically search for skills, titles and location. Review the job descriptions of the next job that you desire in order to find the ideal keywords for your profile. Once you have the keywords, place them in your summary and experiences.

THE 500 CONNECTIONS PANACEA: GET THERE FAST

If you have fewer than 100 connections you are only showing up in approximately 3% of all searches. On the other hand, those with more than 500 connections come up in over 90% of the searches. However, don’t just send out connection requests in a rapid-fire frenzy; LinkedIn has a way of punishing you for that ill-advised impulsiveness. If someone responds to your request with the “I don’t know them” option, you will then need to always include the email address of your desired connection.

Another way of creating or demonstrating “common ground” is by joining LinkedIn’s  various professional groups. You will enjoy the opportunities to share your experiences while you learn from other like-minded professionals. This not only can lead to making additional professional connections, it also catches the eyes of corporate recruiters. Recruiters love LinkedIn’s Industry’s Groups because they often scan them based off of the keywords that they target for jobs that they are trying to fill. Participating in industry discussions and groups is a great way for recruiters to see you.

CONCLUSION

If you are not on LinkedIn, get out of that cave! You are missing out on the many wonderful professional and employment opportunities that are only a few key-clicks away. If you’re an entrepreneur, fellow blogger or just curious, please reach out to me. Perhaps you might have tips or strategies to share; I’d love to hear about it! And I love to talk shop. You can find my profile here.