Getting started on LinkedIn – My Top 5 tips

I joined LinkedIn in December of 2005. This was at a time when MySpace was King and Facebook was a college only thing slowly getting into high schools as a social network. At first I didn’t think the concept of LinkedIn would be successful but at the same time I did believe it had a lot of potential, boy has it changed (for the better) over the years. Let’s get to some tips for effectively using LinkedIn.


Tip #1 – Your Profile

You must complete your profile with a picture. Think of this as your online resume. Fill out as much information as you can but keep it professional. You should not include anything personal like hobbies, sports, etc. I think of my LinkedIn profile as a business tool, to confirm my credentials when customers or business partners look me up. Oh yes, and they will look you up. Complete your profile, education, work experience, awards, etc. You never know what kind of contact you may meet by simply having all of your information on there or what group may ask you to get involved base on your information.

Tip #2 – Join Groups

There are many types of groups on LinkedIn, professional, hobby, government, social groups, alumni, etc. Get involved in the groups. One of the things I really do not like about many of the groups are they end up being job boards. So unless you are looking for a job post relevant information to the groups and add value. The more value you add the more likely you are to attract a future employer or business. You can even promote your own products or brand on these groups but keep it more informational and less selling, establish yourself.

Tip #3 – Link to others

If you are in a business meeting and you introduce yourself or get a business card make sure when you get back to your computer you find that new “link” and get them into your network. This will be a sure way to get “remembered”. And if you end up getting connected, they can see what kind of influence you have by what you post and share on LinkedIn. I make it a point that when I get a business card I always attempt to link with that person, it solidifies my interest in them and their business.

Tip #4 – Recommend and Get Recommendations

You don’t need many, but getting recommendations on LinkedIn hold a lot of water in my opinion. The reason is someone looking at a recommendation can quickly see who that person is doing the recommendation and see what their reputation is very quickly. You should also recommend people. I wouldn’t just recommend people for the sake of recommending, make sure you truly would recommend this person in real life, because that is exactly what it is. It quickly builds a list of references and is always available online.

Tip #5 – Be the expert your profile says you are

If you are a rock star manager then make sure you post often about being a rock star manager. Make sure you are a thought leader in your area of expertise. This will clearly attract more connections and raise your profile credibility. The newly introduced “skills” endorsements is a great way to get others to see that you are what you say you are. I recommend blogging or sharing key stories or news articles that are relevant to your industry.

I could probably do a few more but I will let that be a follow-up post. Some things to think about for the next post would be etiquette, messaging, is “going pro” worth it and much more. Stay tuned.

6 thoughts on “Getting started on LinkedIn – My Top 5 tips

  1. Great post! I’m sending this along to a couple of high school kids in my youth group that are getting ready to set up their own LinkedIn accounts as a way of setting themselves apart from other college applicants.

  2. Thanks for sharing these fantastic tips there Bob. I would like to add… LinkedIn provide an (flawed) algorithm to display where your completeness profile is, but this is a guide and should be treated as such. There are many whom get to 100% but their profile lacks value. I say this with a view to using LinkedIn for sales vs using LinkedIn for job hunting.
    So here are some tips you could include.
    1 – Professional headline – Create your USP – What do you do , what is the outcome of engaging with you. Avoid acronyms that no one else will understand.
    2 – Describe your weblinks – No one searches for Company Website. If its a Blog – Whats your key message. SEO wording….
    3 – Summary – Brief is bad – You have 2000 Characters to tell me about you , your value , the outcomes other gained via your assistance etc – SEO

    SEO is key through out your profile. The words people will use to FIND you as they don’t know you exist yet!

    If your a consultant what words go with that Consultant, Consult, Consultancy, Advise, Assist, Help – you get the drift.

    Lastly do add personality, I want to know you. What do we have in common, ice breakers, trust reducers.. Yes this is a professional site. But after all people buy from people

    I have many more……..

    • Great additions Ben! I often look at what people view my profile and how often my profile shows up in a search. I have often contemplated paying for a subscription but just havent pulled the trigger. The personality is a great one, people want to know there is an actual person on the other side.

      • There are a few litmus tests before going premium. The first one is – “Is your profile being looked at more than five times a day”

        It takes a lot of work to get to that point, Happy to show you how 🙂

      • Wow, I am only at 10 times in the past 7 days and I have shown up in searches 30 times in the past 7 days. Maybe you can look at my profile and see what I could do better.

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