Make LINKEDIN Work HARDER for you.  It continues to amaze me that intelligent, professional people, even some of those in the marketing field, fail to maximize the potential and the power of LinkedIn. Imagine what some hiring managers are thinking when they see some profiles. “Why is this guy not showing his face? Is he trying to hide from the NSA?” Well, maybe that specific thought doesn’t come to mind, but I am being dramatic for a reason. For example, whatever rationale you may have for not providing a photo, throw that rationale out the window. The majority of LinkedIn profiles have photos. The absence of your photo may raise more questions than it answers. Done correctly, for example, photos just might enhance your online profile. On the other hand, done poorly, profile photos are certain to detract.

Here are some of my observations to help you MAKE LINKEDIN WORK HARDER FOR YOU:

  1. Have a GREAT profile photo. Be sure to read my nugget to help you. Click here: “Profile PHOTO Smoking-HOT or Dud?!”
  2. Develop a powerful profile using proper grammar and spelling. Emphasize your most important attributes.
  3. Nicely solicit and stack up USEFUL recommendations from people with impressive credentials. Clear out the garbage by dumping the less impressive ones.
  4. Join relevant groups. Then, become active. Don’t merely lurk. Ask and answer questions. Don’t hog the group. Don’t go overboard. But become a visible and familiar presence. Once you feel comfortable, consider starting up your own group and build a following. Then once you have several thousand followers, do some polite bragging about it by adding it as a line to your resume.
  5. Reach out to your connections. Don’t be shy about asking them for help, referrals, or merely to keep their eyes open on your behalf.
  6. Monitor your competition.
  7. Monitor your own list of connections for any changes to their job status. A promotion for one of them may mean a job opening in the job or group they had to vacate to take on their newest responsibilities.
  8. Remind yourself, not everything can be accomplished through LinkedIn. At some point you have to move out of the “matrix” and go face-to-face. For this strategy, too, LinkedIn is very useful. Identify the most influential (to your job objective) of your connections and offer to buy a coffee, lunch, or dinner for the purpose of picking their brain. Most professionals will be flattered to have the occasional social meeting to help a colleague.