Getting the Most Out of LinkedIn

Getting the most out of LinkedIn

Quick Facts

• Over 645 million users (150 million in the US, including 45% of people earning over $75K)

• 75% of people who recently changed jobs used LinkedIn

• Just .06% of users share content regularly

• LinkedIn profiles with photos get 21x more views and 36x more messages

• 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn

Get Started on LinkedIn

Complete Your Profile

If you have a photo, current and searchable title (e.g. “Administrative Assistant” vs “Calendaring and Organization Guru”), completed education section, comprehensive list of past positions, updated skills volunteer sections you’ll get 20 times more views because hiring managers will assume you check your LinkedIn regularly. Pro Tip: customize your URL

Connect Strategically

Add former classmates, current colleagues, favorite business partners, managers, prior networking connections, friends, etc. As you add people to your network you: (1) make yourself visible: the more 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree connections you have, the more people you can see and interact with (2) get better recommendations from LinkedIn for other people you should connect with. You don’t need a paid LinkedIn account to do this! However, we don’t recommend adding everyone — focus on connecting with people you know or would like to know.

Always Send a Note

Your connection requests are much more likely to be accepted if you include some context about why you’re making the request. Even something as small as being in the same industry or city and wanting to expand your network can influence someone to accept! Also, for the rest of your relationship, you and your contact will know when and why you connected — very helpful for future conversations. Pro tip: use LinkedIn on your computer versus phone when adding people — otherwise, you won’t have the option of adding a note!

See How You're Doing

An SSI Score above 60 is considered “effective”

Share, Like, and Post

All activity is rewarded by LinkedIn’s algorithm — you’ll increase your network visibility if you engage regularly. We recommend at least 1-2 times a week. One old-school sales tip says you have to “touch” someone eight times before they’ll take the first steps — get your network to buy into you by showing up on their feed regularly. Pro tip: Less than 1% of people share on LinkedIn regularly — which means you’ll really stand out if you do! Just make sure your content is information you find interesting and relevant.

Open to Recruiters

Turn on the “open to work” function — it allows recruiters with paid LinkedIn accounts to find your profile more easily and prioritize you in their search results. You can also specify the roles and locations you’re open to. Anyone who works at your current company will not be able to see your choice.

Follow Companies and Join Groups

Similar to the “open to work” function, if you follow a company you’ll be more likely to be prioritized within search results when they source candidates for open positions. Similarly, you can network most effectively and be found by industry recruiters if you join relevant and industry-specific groups. Other ways to engage and learn: follow industry influencers, tap into your alumni network, and check out interesting hashtags.

Ask for Recommendations

Show off the great work you have done by asking for a recommendation from your best partners, managers, employees, collaborators, customers, or vendors — the ones who can speak to your abilities. People feel special being asked to give that kind of feedback! You are not offering anything in return — avoid it feeling like a sales transaction.

Example: “Hi Corbin, I value your opinion and perspective, which is why I am asking for your recommendation. You know how the recruiting world is, and I want people to feel like they are in good hands when partnering with me — I think your feedback regarding our interactions and my work style would go a long way with that initial impression. Thank you for taking the time to do this for me. I greatly appreciate it. Cheers, Pat”

Challenge: Think of 3 people in your current network that you feel would speak positively about their experience working with you. Ask those individuals to write you a recommendation on LinkedIn.

Tap Into Your LinkedIn Network

Too often we hear “reach out to your network.” However, this isn’t actually bad advice — your network is not stagnant; it’s always growing and deepening. Even during a pandemic, we have the ability to make authentic connections — it just requires being creative and asking for what you want. Pro Tip: You don’t get what you don’t ask for!

Our current connections can be our best access and insight into meeting other people, learning about great companies, hearing about new opportunities, getting feedback, and more. However, no one can help you if they don’t know what you’re looking for and if you don’t ask. The key is to be as specific as possible about what you’d like from them and make the ask as easy as possible to accomplish. People like feeling helpful — give them the opportunity by:

  • Asking for an informational interview. This works best if you have a specific question to ask (e.g. no “pick your brain”) and keep your request for their time to 10-15 minutes. You’ll likely get more time, but they’ll be more likely to say yes if they know exactly what you want to talk about and it’s not a big time commitment.
  • Draft a post where you give people a few different ways to help you. Maybe a very short blurb on your background and requests for ideas for favorite companies in (blank) industry, people with (blank) title, favorite job boards for (blank) roles, and best recruiters in (blank) area. It’s like any recommendation — it’s easier to guide someone if you understand exactly where they’re trying to go.
  • Offer to help where you can! You can often make the biggest impression when you’re able to connect other people or offer resources and insights.

If you’re just blasting as many connections as possible with the same cut-and-paste paragraph about your background, don’t. It feels very transactional. Instead, ask for tailored assistance and specific advice. To authentically engage with someone, try these starts to the conversation:

  • Do you know anyone who works in [industry or role] that you think I should connect with?
  • It looks like you have several connections at [company] — what’s your opinion of [the company]?
  • You’ve been a [role] for a while — do you have 5-10 minutes to talk about your experience?
  • I’ve heard your name come up several times in relation to [industry topic]. I’d love to hear what you think someone new to the industry should know about that. (This approach can help you deepen a connection as well as gain valuable insight to use in future interviews).
  • Who in the market do you respect that I would benefit from connecting with?
  • I’m sure you’re busy, but would you mind scanning my resume for anything that would look like a red flag to you when I apply to this [company, position]?
  • Do you have any networking groups or resources you think I should follow to get more involved in [industry, role]?

Additional Resources


Suggested Reads

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