With nearly 260 million users, LinkedIn is the most powerful social network for professionals by far. Whether you’re looking to get a job, build your network, or use the site for business, LinkedIn can be extremely valuable.
To get the most of your LinkedIn experience, we’ve compiled a list of ten tips to help you optimize your profile and take advantage of lesser-known features.
1) Customize your public profile URL.
Instead of the long URL that LinkedIn gives you by default, you can claim a clean vanity URL that is easy to remember and share (ex: http://www.linkedin.com/in/yournamehere). To create a vanity URL, click here and then select “Customize your public profile URL” on the right-hand side.
2) Make your profile SEO-friendly.
Similar to search engine optimization for websites, you can optimize your LinkedIn profile to make it easier for people to find you. Add key terms that are relevant to your experience throughout your profile, including your headline, summary, and experience.
3) Rearrange your profile.
Want to display profile sections in a certain order? When editing your profile, simply hover over the arrow next to the “Edit” link on each section. From there, you can click and drag the section wherever you want. LinkedIn also gives you the ability to add or remove sections from your profile.
4) Quickly build a resume using your profile.
Did you know that LinkedIn has a resume builder tool? In a matter of minutes, you can pick a template, fetch your profile content, and generate a resume that you can print and share with potential employers.
5) Search for jobs.
LinkedIn has a job board that you can search by title, keyword, or company name. In addition to the job boards, LinkedIn will start recommending relevant jobs based on the experience and location you list in your profile.
6) Be identifiable.
Allow others to see your name and headline when you view their profile. To allow this, go to your settings and choose the option “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.”
Not only does this allow people to see who you are when you view their profile, it also gives you the ability to track who’s viewed your profile.
7) Engage with network updates.
Similar to the Facebook News Feed, network updates show activity from your connections. You can sort this by various criteria or even customize the feed to show what you want.
Viewing the content isn’t enough. You should also share at least once weekly to keep your profile visible. This can be as easy as sharing an article with some brief commentary.
Don’t forget to congratulate people in your network for their achievements or recent job changes!
8) Join LinkedIn Groups.
If you’re a member of the same group as another user, you’re able to message them (even if you don’t share a first-degree connection with that user). Group members are also able to view the profiles of other members of the group.
Joining groups not only allows you to participate in conversations about your interests, but it also opens your profile up to be viewed by more people on LinkedIn.
9) Export connections.
Under “Network” in LinkedIn’s navigation, you can click on “Contacts” and then navigate to “Export LinkedIn Connections.” You can quickly download your connections as a .CSV or .VCF file – making it perfect to transfer to another contact management system.
10) Find great content with Pulse and LinkedIn’s Trending Content tool.
Pulse is a collection of the most popular articles shared on LinkedIn. You can follow influencers, publishers, or topics to optimize the news that you see in this section. You can also adjust your settings to receive email summaries with content from Pulse.
Similar to Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn released their Trending Content tool in March 2014. This feature highlights the most popular content being shared on LinkedIn among various audiences and topics. This tool is a great way for business users to see what types of content are most viral within their industry!