I would estimate that like 5% of people are using LinkedIn to it’s full potential. Honestly, with millions of jobs, employers, and opportunities, you’d think we’d pay more attention to it.
These LinkedIn hacks will help you get the most out of LinkedIn, and use it to launch your career forward.
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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.
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 wordcloud tool if you want.
Then use those keywords and job postings to make a profile of who that person will need to be who does that job.
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 or recruiter.
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 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 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 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 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. Use the Free Premium Month
It’s an open question as to whether LinkedIn premium is worth it or not. I did a full post about it, which you can read here.
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, 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.
4. 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 simple stories.
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 every day life and what you’ve learned from it.
“One of my favorite things about the fall is wandering down rows of apple trees. As I reached up to pick the perfect one, shining it on my shirt and sinking my teeth into it, something stopped me dead in my tracks…
I spit it out as fast as I could.
It was completely bad on the inside.
LinkedIn is sort of like this. We judge by appearances all the time, thinking the shiniest are always the best. It’s easy to think that someone else has it more together than you.
But life is not always what it appears.”
I just made that up, literally, but I do this all day. I think about LinkedIn posts, and drop them into my Evernote on my phone. Then I either type them into LinkedIn, or into a scheduling service.
The service that I use is called Publer, and it’s my favorite one so far. You can try Publer here!
5. 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 to learn to make your profile better!
6. 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.
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: 10 Powerful LinkedIn Tips to Try (Video)