Because it's a public company all about professionals, LinkedIn does a great job sharing their numbers. And those numbers speak volumes.
- The largest professional online network with more than 433 million members worldwide. The U.S. alone accounts for over 128 million of those users.
- More than two new members per second are signing up to network, showcase their personal brand, and learn through LinkedIn's tools and resources.
- Over 40 million students and recent college graduates are on the platform, making up the fastest-growing demographic for LinkedIn.
We get that not every industry is equally bought-in to the career-catapult that LinkedIn can provide. In order to support those of you who want to do more in this arena, we'll keep this page fresh as cut flowers for your benefit. If you happen to be a mega-user, let us know what successes you've found from tapping into this professional powerhouse.
The Most Under-Utilized Elements
ALUMNI TOOL Tapping the network within your university is uber-easy, but often its over-looked. If you link your education to your university page rather than typing it in, you'll become a part of your alumni network automatically. We love that because we get a picture of where our alumni are - your company, industry, and location! You'll love this feature because it opens you to connect with anyone else linked to the same university who is willing to connect.
GROUPS You can join up to 50 groups with a standard account! Use these groups to get all of your industry news, learn from segment leaders, and expand your network with other members of the same group. Some groups are open and some are private. Try out as many as you can, drop the ones that don't provide you the conversations or information you're looking for, or start a new group if you want to show your leadership in a niche market.
PULSE An area of long-form posts. Consider it a short essay, because honestly, the reader will not stick around for more than 3.5 minutes (and that's being generous). If you have professional experience or expertise on a topic, Pulse is a great area to explore. We recommend swimming in the shallow end for a bit, just to gauge the waters. A leap off of the high dive that goes amiss is not a win for your personal brand... LinkedIn Help gives great tips, starter ideas, and examples of what good looks like.
SLIDESHARE Publish your presentations, infographics, eBooks, and case studies. Writing a few blog posts per month, sharing great content from SlideShare, will help you get noticed. Create clickable CTA's right into the content slides of the decks that your upload. Always remember though - credit the source of the information and link back to their website or blog as a professional courtesy.
Profiles and rankings are 100% in your capable hands.
The ranking tells you how well you’ve executed your profile, anywhere from beginner to all-star.
Want to play on the main stage?... Here's your set list:
- Your Awesome Smile. A photo makes you over 7x more likely to be found. Either get some professional headshots done, or sequester a friend to help produce something simple with a little personality.
- Your True Name. Yes, this is a social site, but it’s the #1 professional site and your name needs to match your resume and any other professional online information.
- Your Industry. The drop-down list can be overwhelming but choosing the right industry is critical for you to show in segment searches. You can only choose one – make it count.
- A Headline That Sings. Not a place to be boring, but also not the real estate you want to use for technical jargon. Show off your credibility and your value with a power phrase that will be supported in your Summary.
- The Big City. When searching an area for a large return, do you go city or rural? Exactly… the largest city near your actual location will mean your profile gets more looks. Type in a specific location if you feel its necessary.
- The Big Picture. The Summary section is typically at the top of your profile, offering an open space for you to share what you offer in terms of expertise, unique competencies, and personal brand statement. Grab the attention of a reader here and you’re almost assured they’ll reach out for a conversation.
- EDUCATION. Yes, we capitalized that for good reason: How hard did you work for your degree(s)? Ok, then don’t short-change your investment by not linking to your university, listing your degree appropriately, and sharing additional competencies you feel may differentiate your level of learning. Accreditations are a powerful addition here, too.
- Your Skills. It needs to be said that if you don’t take the time to list/import skills you’ve earned, then no one is going to do it for you. Don’t look at this section as ‘tooting your own horn’, instead, think of it as a buffet for your connections to choose from. As your work experience ebbs and flows, you’ll want to revisit this section and add what you’ve picked up along the way.
- Your Experience. This is your online resume section. All of that highly specific support data should be replicated here for each role you list. Done right, you won’t have to update this section until your role changes or evolves greatly.
- Your Network. Take advantage of all the automatic results, and then shift to searching for connections to grow your profile, and your possibilities. You can import contacts from email providers and other social platforms if you wish, or use the opportunity to fully figure out LinkedIn by working the alumni tool, groups, and shared connection features.