Updated January 25, 2023
I would estimate that like 5% of people are using LinkedIn to its full potential. Honestly, with millions of jobs, employers, and opportunities, you’d think we’d pay more attention to it.
You might be a job seeker looking for your next role. Would you believe that using LinkedIn right can help you forget the crappy cycle of submitting resumes and praying? In fact, jobs can even come to you!
If you’re trying to grow your work as an entrepreneur, well… LinkedIn works for that too.
And if you want to be the next influencer and add 2175 followers to your LinkedIn, you can do that too!
It’s powerful. And almost nobody uses it to its full potential. Seriously. Almost nobody.
In honor of the power of LinkedIn, these LinkedIn hacks will help you get the most out of the platform, and use it to launch your career forward.
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If you want to try LinkedIn Learning it’s here—
1. Use keywords from job postings
If only there were a way to know how to create a LinkedIn profile that attracts recruiters and employers.
Actually, this is exactly what the Job Posting section of LinkedIn does!
Ideally, LinkedIn should help you get your next job.
One of the best LinkedIn hacks I know is to make sure that your profile is actually making your case to recruiters, even while you are sleeping. I always feel like a profile should be a story that encapsulates your why, combined with an argument for why you are the best person to do a job. Get this right and you’ll nail the summary section.
What job? Go on to the LinkedIn job search, and pick your next job. Your dream job. The one you would love to have. Run it through a keyword or word cloud tool if you want.
Then use those keywords and job postings in your LinkedIn profile. (You can see a PDF example I did of this here.)
Want to know if it worked?
Go back to the job search and see what LinkedIn suggests for you now that your profile is updated. Plus, if you have LinkedIn Premium, you can go to a job and it will tell you
2. Message the dang hiring manager
“Should I message the hiring manager,” someone asks me on a fairly regular basis.
To that, I say, heck yes.
Message the hiring manager.
Yes, every time (if you can).
Hundreds of applications come into the average job, and Linkedin gives you an incredibly easy way to stand out. The right message can convey that you are super interesting and totally the right person to do the job.
You can use 3 simple statements to craft a super short and clear message: A. Who you are & your why; B. Your qualifications; C. Your vision.
A. I’m a policy researcher looking to work on international energy files.
B. I’ve managed policy projects with budgets of up to $100k, successfully overseeing complicated & high-value stakeholder relationships, and won an additional $200k in funding through granting agencies.
C. I’m looking for a fast-moving, international file to use and grow my stakeholder relations skills.
So let’s put it all together:
I just submitted an application for Senior Policy Analyst and I wanted to introduce myself quickly. I’m a policy researcher looking to work on international energy files. I’ve managed policy projects with budgets of up to $100k, successfully overseeing complicated & high-value stakeholder relationships, and won an additional $200k in funding through granting agencies. I’m looking for a fast-moving, international file to use and grow my stakeholder relations skills. I’m eager to tell you more about what I can bring to the role.
This is pretty simple, but so few people do it. At worst, you might get ignored. But I bet that 9 times of of 10 they’re at least going to take another look at your profile.
Want to put this on steroids? Use video! A simple video or audio message touching on the same points above will get you noticed. And that’s half the battle. (There’s a good guide to video cover letters on Indeed.)
3. Message recruiters
Okay, so the other people you should definitely message are recruiters. If you want to know how to reach out to a recruiter on LinkedIn, It’s important to know what recruiters actually do. They don’t work for you… they work for a company, which pays them to find employees like you.
So don’t treat a recruiter like a career coach. But DO message them.
In my experience, most recruiters are more than happy to get messages from potential recruits. But send a message a bit like the one I wrote above, outlining your skills, accomplishments, and what you’re looking for (preferably briefly).
Chances are, they’ll put you on their list. But a few caveats:
- Make sure you’re messaging a recruiter who finds positions for people like you (if you want a marketing job, don’t message a recruiter who specializes in HR).
- Recognize that it’s up to you to show your value to them. But after that, you wait. And if the recruiter doesn’t call, it doesn’t mean you’re not good enough. It might just mean they don’t have contracts that would fit you.
4. Use the free Premium month
It’s an open question as to whether LinkedIn Premium is worth it or not.
I think it has a lot of advantages. As of writing this, LinkedIn often offers you a free month of Premium to try. I usually take it, but always set a reminder to cancel.
Use that month to take some courses on LinkedIn Learning, if you want. But definitely use the features such as Top Applicant to add skills that you are missing to your profile to make it more searchable. You can also connect with people who view your profile.
5. Tell your story
LinkedIn is changing fast, and the material that gets the most attention is stories.
Contrary to what you see, you don’t have to bare your soul on LinkedIn. You don’t have to tell your deepest darkest secrets. But being real, talking about your life, is one of the most surefire ways to start getting some attention on LinkedIn.
So what if you’re not telling your deepest, darkest secrets, what can you do? Tell your story.
The Old Man and the Sea is one of the most boring stories out there, about a man trying to catch a fish, but the way Hemingway tells it turns it into a masterpiece.
Impact on LinkedIn doesn’t necessarily require writing about a PTSD-inducing event–try just writing about everyday life and what you’ve learned from it.
6. Get real
I think this overlaps a bit with the last point, but people like to see real stuff on LinkedIn. There’s so many people trying to humble brag, and sometimes we just like to smile.
For example, here’s a pic I posted of me with my daughter.
7. Be consistent
If you’re ready to build a following on LinkedIn, forget about the viral post that adds a gazillion followers. Oh, I know it’s happened. But a lot of the people I know who have built solid LinkedIn followings have really just shown up consistently with content that’s interesting or useful.
There are so many content creators that are great out there. But most of them aren’t born with it. They consistently post and learn from it, and in doing so develop the writer’s muscle!
If you’re having trouble with consistency, you can also schedule your posts! You can’t do this with LinkedIn itself, but there are some third-party services that work very nicely.
The service that I use is called Publer, and it’s my favorite one so far. You can try Publer here!
8. Search by people
I’ve talked about this one in other posts, but I LOVE searching by “People” on LinkedIn.
Just type a keyword, your degree, an interest, or pretty much anything you’re looking for into the search bar and hit “People.” You’re going to find a ton of interesting people to match.
Use this to explore careers, connect to cool people, and learn to make your profile better!
9. Try Video
It’s hit or miss, but video CAN work well on LinkedIn. I’d recommend a portrait-style video that includes subtitles (most people won’t turn sound on, so subtitles not only makes your video accessible, but it also means more people will watch it).
Here’s a video I made that did pretty well on LinkedIn (ironically shared via YouTube).
10. Build a following
I don’t care if you want a job or you want to be the next mega-influencer, building a following on LinkedIn is a GREAT idea. And most people don’t. Honestly, it doesn’t take much. I’d focus on creating thoughtful posts on a regular basis (no more than once a day), and sharing others’ posts on occasion.
For this small amount of effort, you’ll get attention and opportunities come to you, and that’s pretty dang amazing.
11. Try LinkedIn Learning
If you’ve never checked out LinkedIn’s powerful educational platform, LinkedIn Learning, you should! It has a ton of awesome courses led by industry leaders from around the world. Plus, when you do courses they show up on your profile.
LinkedIn Learning is one of my favorite online learning platforms, so it’s definitely worth checking out.
And if you don’t have access yet, get it here!
I hope these 5 simple LinkedIn hacks inspire you to step up and master this platform! There’s so much here, and if you do it right LinkedIn can provide you the world of opportunities. So what are you waiting for? Get started!
Now Read: 12 High Income Skills to Teach Yourself