Lewis Howes is a former professional athlete, world record holder in football, and author of the LinkedIn book, LinkedWorking. He is the founder of the Sports Executives Association, and the popular sports and social media blog SportsNetworker.com.
LinkedIn () is one of the best places online to find a job, period. It’s also a great place to connect with top decision makers, generate targeted leads for your business, drive traffic to your website, and more.
I hear countless stories every week from people who land amazing full time positions at great companies thanks to engagement on LinkedIn. Although there are a number of approaches you can take when hunting for the right job, start with these 13 important tips for using LinkedIn effectively.
1. Complete Your Profile 100%
If someone is thinking about hiring you for a position, he or she is going run a Google () search for your first and last name. For many, a LinkedIn profile will rank in the top five results. This gives you a certain level of control in showcasing your best talents with your profile. Make sure your profile is 100% complete, and position yourself as an expert in your niche.
A profile that is only 55% complete, without recommendations and an updated work history may not make a solid first impression when people find you through search.
2. Add a Compelling Headline
Your headline is the first thing potential employers and hiring managers will see after your name. First impressions are an important aspect of the interview process, and this holds true for your LinkedIn profile as well.
Be clear and to the point with your headline. Try to tell people who you are, what you do, and how you can help them in as few words as possible. This simple step will help you stand out from many other LinkedIn profiles.
3. Add All Past and Current Work Positions
It’s important to include where you have worked in the past and where you are currently working. Obviously, the more work experience you can list, the better. You never know which position will earn you the respect of the hiring manager and give you the edge you need to land the job.
There’s always a chance the hiring manager has worked at one of your previous companies, or has hired other professionals from that company. Situations like this may help you get the job security you are seeking.
4. Give and Receive Recommendations
On your traditional resume, you are supposed to have a limited amount of recommendations. However, on your LinkedIn profile, the more people who can vouch for you, the better.
If you only have two recommendations on LinkedIn, most people won’t take your profile seriously. It’s unfortunate, because there are a number of qualified and experienced professionals who aren’t active on the network. This can hurt their reputation. Remember, in the online world, perception is reality. If people believe that no one will recommend you because there are no visible signs of approval displayed on your profile, why would they want to hire you?
The best way to receive recommendations is to give them first. The more you give on LinkedIn, the more you will receive. Take some time to write a few recommendations for those you know, like, and trust, and a majority of them will write you one in return.
5. Connect With Everyone
There are some on LinkedIn who believe you should only connect with a small percentage of professionals you know and trust. Others say (including myself) you should connect with everyone, even if you vaguely know them.
When looking for a job, you never know who will be able to recommend you, or who is looking for someone to fill a position where you would be a perfect fit.
When connecting with others, make sure you always send a personalized message. This doesn’t have to be an essay, but make sure you mention why you are connecting or how you know one another. Also ask if there is anything you can do to assist them. By offering your services to help, this breaks down any initial barriers and gives others another reason why they should hire you.
Read the full post on Mashable right here.