LinkedIn is one of the best-quality and most effective professional social media networks. It is well worth using, knowing well, and optimising. Once you have set up your profile with basic (and complete) information, you should explore its other features.

Some of the features that you should definitely take advantage of when building your LinkedIn profile are applications, recommendations, Resume Builder and LinkedIn Answers. Those features are tremendously useful and are, ironically, very often ignored. There are several ways in which you can get the most out of LinkedIn’s features, including the following tips:

Start with the basics: The first principle that should govern your actions when it comes to LinkedIn is that you should fill in as much information on your profile as you can. You can consider it your online resume. You should devote a great deal of care and attention to your profile. The information that you have in your profile should reflect where you are at this point in your career. It is also critical that you include a recent photo and contact information. Once you have completely covered all of the bases, your next step should be to start establishing as many high-quality connections as possible.

Optimise your profile with keywords: When you are building your profile, make sure that you put in a lot of rich keywords that pertain to what you do professionally. This will cause you to drive more traffic to your profile than others on LinkedIn. Make sure that your headline on LinkedIn is compelling and that others read it and want to know more about you.

Request important recommendations: It isn’t enough, whether you own your own business or you are pursuing a position in a business that is owned by someone else, to express to others all of the wonderful things that you have done and are doing and how great you are at what you do. Recommendations (or testimonials) go a very long way.

When you request a LinkedIn recommendation from one of your professional connections, you should make sure that you are confident that the recommendation that you will receive will be really effective. When you request recommendations, you should choose people with whom you worked very closely. It is recommended that you make the request for the recommendation in person whenever possible. That human touch will go a long way for you. Of course, always remember to thank each person who is kind enough to write a recommendation for you and offer to return the favour.

Use applications that add value to your profile: One of the big advantages of LinkedIn is its capability of incorporating applications. You can obtain a list of apps that will enhance your profile from LinkedIn’s Application Directory. The following is a partial list:

WordPress: You can import WordPress blogs postings into your LinkedIn profile. You can control what you wish to display (all posts or only those posts that have been tagged).
SlideShare presentations: If you are involved with doing a lot of presentations or publishing a large number of reports, SlideShare is a great way to let people know about your work. If you don’t already have a SlideShare account, you should open one.
Tweets: If you like to use Twitter, you can access it directly from LinkedIn. You can also display your recent tweets on LinkedIn if you want.

My Travel: My Travel, which is powered by TripIt (an online trip planner), allows you to see exactly where your professional communities are travelling and it also lets you post your upcoming travel destinations. Once you have put in all of that information, you will be able to see who, among the members of your online communities, will be travelling close to you geographically.


The LinkedIn features that were discussed here allow the people who visit you on LinkedIn to get a really good sense of who you are professionally (in a well-rounded manner). If you only fill in the basic information in your profile, you will be using LinkedIn well. If, however, you take even greater advantage of what is offered, your profile and your online presence will be greatly effective and will provide a way for others to easily get to know who you are and what you stand for professionally.

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