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If you’re a jobseeker or just keen to move up in the world, you’ve probably set up a LinkedIn profile and started building a network there. You may have put a little thought into your profile at some point and then probably let it stagnate somewhat between moments of enthusiasm for career-building behaviour.
However, this need not be the case. There are a number of great hacks you can use with LinkedIn, some of which will help to keep your profile looking fresh for longer, and all of which will help to further your career in some way. It’s well worth taking a quick look at a few of them to see what you can incorporate into your regular activities.
Learn How To Create A Great LinkedIn Profile
To begin with, you will need to have set up a LinkedIn profile with as much care and attention as possible. If you haven’t already read our manual Learn LinkedIn: How To Build Your Living Resume, then download your free copy now and use that to start yourself off.
1. Update LinkedIn With Unique Content Via Apps
To encourage yourself to use LinkedIn more frequently, get a LinkedIn app for your smartphone or tablet. In particular, check out the new iPad app and Windows Phone app. Use tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule updates to your LinkedIn Network. Please note, it’s not always advisable to link Facebook and Twitter accounts to LinkedIn as you are talking to a completely different audience.
By using multi-network scheduling tools instead, you are more likely to create unique content just for LinkedIn. Note that scheduling updates doesn’t have to be difficult as you can simply forward a link to a great article. Try to avoid blatant “hire me” posts unless it’s really necessary.
2. See Who’s Been Viewing Your LinkedIn Profile
While viewing your home page on LinkedIn, take a look on the right just under the “People you may know” section. You’ll see a section for “Who’s Viewed Your Profile“. As a free LinkedIn user, clicking on this link will show you a selection of people who have viewed your profile in the last three months. Paid users will see the full list of people who have viewed a profile, although sometimes they will be anonymised somewhat with a message like “One of these 10 people viewed your profile”.
If you can’t afford to pay for a paid account, or you want to narrow down which of those 10 people actually viewed your account, you can always take a screenshot of the list each day until you build up a better picture.
3. Answer Questions Using Answers & LinkedIn Groups
An overlooked tool of LinkedIn is the Answers section, which you can access from the home page by visiting More > Answers. Here you can ask or answer questions, meaning that you can prove your expertise in certain areas. If you are one of the week’s top experts you will be featured on the home page.
LinkedIn have thoughtfully provided access to professional groups via the site. If you want to make the best of your networking efforts, it does pay to give a little of your time to these groups. Focus your attention on a handful of the most relevant groups for your industry and see if you can answer a few questions a day. With any luck, people will notice you and want you to join their professional network, perhaps even recommending you for a new job.
4. Pay Close Attention To Your Network
Take a close look at the people you are connected to via LinkedIn. Pay close attention to the industries people are in, companies which are represented and who you are indirectly connected to. If there are people working in your dream company then make contact early on. Don’t wait until you’re unemployed and desperate for work.
5. Follow Updates From Your Network Using Signal & BottleNose
One great way to see what your network is up to is to use Signal, which is the full LinkedIn feed of things your network has done. Signal is a little like what you see on the home screen, but you can filter it by company, location, seniority, industry or more. You can also expand it to show updates from 2nd and 3rd connections, which makes it really easy to find movers and shakers that meet your criteria.
Another idea for following your network is to combine LinkedIn updates from your network with news from other social sources and news with tools like BottleNose or HootSuite. It doesn’t matter what you use, rather that you see what people in your network are saying and are in a position to respond in a timely matter if relevant to you.
6. Build Up Your Recommendations
The best way to build up a collection of great recommendations is to give recommendations yourself. Every now and then, write a great recommendation for someone in your network. This may prompt them to return the favour at some point. If you do this regularly, then over time you will get a wide collection of recommendations from a variety of people in your network. Whatever you do, don’t wait until you need a job. This is a task that can only be done over time.
7. Frequently Update Your LinkedIn Profile
It goes without saying that you should always try to ensure your profile has current information about work roles and positions. Some things which may encourage you to frequently update your resume on LinkedIn are the vast number of resume-creating tools that you can use, which create beautiful resumes using data from LinkedIn. Some of the resume tools are quite visually appealing, so give them a go!
Don’t forget, there are always more LinkedIn tools and tips to check out. Some of these are really fun and will make you more likely to network on LinkedIn.
8. Back Up Your Network Contacts
Many people don’t realise it, but it’s possible to lose access to your LinkedIn account. LinkedIn will sometimes block accounts that are too active. There has also been at least one case where an employer deemed that the account was their property and demanded that it was handed over when the employee left the company. It only takes a few seconds to back up your network. Go to Contacts > Connections, then follow the link in the bottom-right to Export Connections. Easy!
What are your best tips for using LinkedIn?