Photo: LinkedIn via Flickr
A lot of LinkedIn’s ~150 million users don’t know how to unlock its true potential.The company’s co-founder, Reid Hoffman, said as much in a recent profile by WIRED:
“They think it’s a place they keep their CV online and maybe have some connections with people they know professionally. They don’t think of it as a place to get business intelligence, to research problems, to establish an online presence where other people in the network can find them. It’s as if we’re a screwdriver in a world where people don’t quite understand screws.”
You know if the company’s co-founder says users aren’t using LinkedIn’s power, it must be true.
To help you out, we put together our favourite tips and tricks for LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Today is a daily digest of news and links people are sharing on LinkedIn. You can browse popular articles by topic or check the home page for the top news overall. The vertical is fully customisable, so the topics you care about most will always be at the top.
You can access LinkedIn Today from the 'News' tab at the top of your LinkedIn home page.
Want to know who's talking about your favourite topics? Switch the search bar at the top right of your screen to 'Updates' to find out. This is a great way to build new connections and find out what people in your industry are sharing.
You can narrow your search by region, career, etc. by using the check boxes in the left column.
LinkedIn offers a lot of customisation for business pages. It's a great place to post job openings, company news, and links to your products or services.
LinkedIn users will be able to see who in their network works at the company too.
By default, LinkedIn gives your profile a wonky URL with a bunch of numbers and letters. To help clean it up, you can choose a custom URL for your public profile. This will help Google bring your name up in search, plus it makes you look more reputable to people searching for someone with your skill set.
To change your URL, go to your edit profile page and scroll to the 'Public Profile' section. Click 'Edit' next to the URL to choose a new one.
LinkedIn is full of groups for almost every profession and skill set. Just search for something in your field and pick the best group for you from the results.
These groups are not only a good way to stay up to date with news, but also make connections with people in your industry.
To search for a group, change the search tab at the top to 'Groups' and enter the topic you're looking for. You can refine your results using the check boxes in the left column.
Google seems to favour LinkedIn for people searches. With that in mind, make sure your profile is as complete and clean as possible. It's likely potential employers will be Googling you, so if you haven't spruced up your profile in a while, now's a good time to do it.
Employers use LinkedIn all the time to search for new job candidates. Who knows what you're missing out on if your profile doesn't have your complete work experience, skills, education, etc.
The last thing you'd want to show off is just your most recent position and nothing else. The more you have in your profile, the more people can learn about what you can do.
If you have your eye on a better job or promotion, search for that job title on LinkedIn. You'll get to look at profiles of people who have that position and get a good idea what you need to do to reach that level.
LinkedIn has a handy tool that will build your resumé in a snap. It takes all the information in your profile and coverts it to a simple resumé that you can print out. There are a bunch of templates to choose from too.
Check out our step-by-step guide on how to use it.
LinkedIn has a bunch of third-party apps that can expand your profile, letting you share presentations, travel plans, and even what you're reading on your Kindle. Click here to check them out and find a good one for you.
LinkedIn gives you the option to automatically send all your tweets to your LinkedIn status. You can add your Twitter account under Settings > Profile > Manage Your Twitter Settings.
You also have the option to only send tweets to LinkedIn that have the hashtag #li or #in. (We recommend using that tool if you tweet a lot).
LinkedIn has a handy tool that lets you see who looks at your profile. (Although some people have their privacy settings set to block this.)
For free users, you can only see who has looked at your profile over the last few days. Paid LinkedIn users can see everyone who has ever looked at their profile.
You can get all this information from the right side of LinkedIn's home page after you log in.