Optimising your LinkedIn presence
Having looked at the basics of LinkedIn in our previous article, we now take a quick look at some strategic approaches to optimising your LinkedIn presence.
Endorsements and Recommendations
LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations are quite similar in that both are ways for people to publicly vouch for your skills and expertise and are quite different in the weight they carry.
It’s very easy to endorse the skills of people you’re connected to – a single click is all it takes. Unfortunately, this is both helpful and unhelpful – because endorsements are so easy to come by, you can get a lot of them quite quickly but this also diminishes their value. Endorsements have been compared to Facebook’s ‘Like’ feature – they make your profile look good if you have a lot of them but they don’t mean much on their own.
Recommendations serve a similar purpose to endorsements but they’re also much rarer and more meaningful. While an endorsement is a single click, recommendations are custom reviews with room for the writer to describe specific examples and talk in detail about their experience with the person they’re recommending. Obviously, considering the time and effort involved in writing a recommendation, people are less likely to spontaneously recommend someone than spontaneously endorse them – but there are ways around this. LinkedIn lets you ‘request’ a recommendation – you can ask up to three of your connections in a single request to write a recommendation about a specific position you held (or still hold).
If you had to pick between a great set of endorsements or a great set of recommendations, it’s almost always better to take the recommendations. Happily, you don’t need to choose – go for both! Having a large collection of endorsements and a glowing set of recommendations show that your skills and performance are respected by others and go a long way to optimising your LinkedIn presence.
Keywords are a critical part of finding the right people on LinkedIn and of being found yourself. Keywords – particularly when placed in Headline, Experience Job Title and Skills parts of a profile – can have huge weighting on LinkedIn search results.
This is clearly useful for people wanting to land a new job – by strategically placing the right keywords in the right profile sections, they can boost their chances of being found and considered for their preferred positions. On the flip side, keywords can also help time-poor head-hunting employers quickly find suitable candidates.
LinkedIn is no longer a text-only social network. While it’s never been known for ‘prettiness’ or the beautiful graphics you can find on Pinterest or Instagram, LinkedIn has moved to support images, video and more. What’s more, this isn’t such a new development – in 2012, LinkedIn acquired Slideshare and was clearly leading the race for highest click-through on infographics, which dates the push towards a richer user experience to at least four years ago. Whilst many LinkedIn profiles have yet to capitalise on the availability of multimedia, it looks set to become industry standard, and that’s not something you want to be falling behind on.
Groups were briefly mentioned in our previous post introducing LinkedIn – as mentioned there, groups let you connect and communicate with your fellow professionals. Being an active and conscientious member of groups is a great way to broaden your business network and present yourself as a knowledgeable leader in your field. Posting relevant, non-sales-ish content and commenting on other people’s content draws positive attention to you and creates opportunities to start conversations with other group members – and who knows were those could lead! Just be careful not to come across as a spammer – that doesn’t only break group rules, it damages your presence and reputation.
The above techniques for optimising your LinkedIn presence are all simple to start implementing yourself – with the possible exception of generating endorsements and recommendations but, even there, you can start things moving by requesting these from your peers. Have a go! You don’t know where things will lead with an easily found, strategically optimised LinkedIn profile.