How to make the most of LinkedIn
1. Increase your visibility
By adding connections, you increase the likelihood that people will see your profile first when they’re searching for someone to hire or do business with. In addition to appearing at the top of search results, people would much rather work with people who their friends know and trust.
2. Improve your ‘connectability’
Most new users put only their current company in their profile. By doing so, they severely limit their ability to connect with people. You should fill out your profile like it’s an executive bio, so include past companies, education, affiliations and activities.
You can also include a link to your profile as part of an email signature. The added benefit is that the link enables people who visit to see all your credentials which would be awkward as an attachment.
3. Boost your Google PageRank
You can make your profile information available for search engines to index. Since LinkedIn profiles receive a fairly high PageRank in Google, this is a good way to influence what people see when they search for you. To do this, create a public profile and select ‘Full View’. Also, instead of using the default URL, customise your public profile’s URL to be your actual name. To strengthen the visibility of this page in search engines, use this link in various places on the web. For example, if you comment in a blog, you could include a link to your profile in your signature.
4. Enhance your search engine results
In addition to your name, you can also promote your blog or website to search engines. Your LinkedIn profile allows you to publicise websites. There are a few pre-selected categories like ‘My Website’, ‘My Company’, etc. If you select ‘Other’, you can modify the name of the link. If you’re linking to your personal blog, include your name or descriptive terms in the link and you get instant search-engine optimisation for your site. To make this work, be sure your public profile setting is set to ‘Full View’.
Run ‘reverse’ and company reference checks
The on-site reference check tool lets you input a company name and the years the person worked at the company to search for references. Your search will find the people who worked at the company during the same time period. Since references provided by a candidate will generally be glowing, this is a good way to get more balanced information.
Also, companies will typically check your references before hiring you, but have you ever thought of checking your prospective manager’s references? Most interviewees don’t have the audacity to ask a potential boss for references, but now you have a way to check him or her out too. You can also look into the company itself by finding the person who used to have the job that you’re interviewing for. Do this by searching for job title and company, but be sure to uncheck ‘Current titles only.’ By contacting people who used to hold the position, you can get inside knowledge on the job, manager and growth potential.
Tips provided by LinkedIn, an online network
25th September 2009