Jessica Chernetz, a community development specialist at Microsoft, explained the importance of LinkedIn to the business community with one simple truth: LinkedIn is the No. 1 site for recruiters looking for qualified candidates and the safest social media website for individuals looking to advance their careers.
“How one connects and uses the platform can therefore help decide their future,” Chernetz said. “For example, LinkedIn profiles with photos get 21 times more views; profiles that list more than one job position are 12 times more likely to be viewed; and, members who list five or more skills on their profiles, especially those which are endorsed, are contacted up to 31 times more by recruiters.”
If there was one tidbit Chernetz prioritized, however, it would be the utilization of hashtags, she said.
“Hashtag, literally, everything,” she said. “Your profile will pop up in searches with those hashtags.”
Chernetz offered these tips to make a LinkedIn profile more effective:
Personalize connect requests
“Always, always, always. Doing so provides context, breaks the ice and makes it more likely your invitation will be accepted when you reach out to someone new.”
Add causes you care about
“I am a huge advocate for Girl Scouts. I received my gold award and have been in Girl Scouts for 26 years. And, I was told that one of the reasons I was hired at Microsoft is because they were impressed with the dedication I had for continuing to inspire girls and young women in Girl Scouts.
“Almost half of all hiring managers say they view volunteer experience as equivalent to formal work experience, so add causes you care about to your LinkedIn profile to round out your professional identity.”
Find and join groups and organizations
“Search for groups of interest related to your passions and career, or see if employers you are interested in have groups of their own. There also is an alumni tool in which you can search for your school or organization, such as the military, and follow its page to see other members.”
Monetize your hobbies
“Do any of you have hobbies outside of your career, like photography or knitting? Do any of you consider yourselves entrepreneurs to that extent? Because you should.
“You can take your passions and potentially turn them into other sources of income by leveraging them on LinkedIn. You can even tie in your Etsy account with your LinkedIn profile, if you’d like.”
Write and publish articles
“Writing and publishing articles to LinkedIn is a great way to build one’s brand and grow one’s network. Not only will your posts reach your connections, but you also can build a following.
“If you post an article, you also can see how many times it has been viewed and who in what industries has viewed it. It gives you a better understanding of who is attracted to your profile and your brand.”