Top 10 things to keep in mind about LinkedIn

With more than 470 million people on LinkedIn, it’s safe to say most of us understand its power. However, there’s a difference between using the platform to have a simple profile and passively accept requests and harnessing the network to enhance your brand and compel human resource specialists and employers to contact you.

Here are the top 10 things to keep in mind about LinkedIn:

  1. Expect companies to check out LinkedIn first.
  2. Represent your brand with your LinkedIn profile, which is neither your biography nor your résumé. Portray yourself in an exciting way. Design your profile so it represents what you want people to associate with your name. Use your headline and your summary statement to highlight your strengths, skills, and results.
  3. For your profile, select a headshot of you in business attire and smiling rather than a photo of you in uniform. Focus on your headline and summary; your headline is not your job title. Don’t just copy and paste your résumé. Learn how to customize your public profile URL at and add the resulting URL to your résumé, business cards, and signature block in your email.
  4. LinkedIn has the power to connect. Use this to your advantage by researching jobs, people, and companies. Use Boolean criteria (and, or, not, quotes, and parentheses) to look at where your criteria intersect to enhance your job search.
  5. Realize your network is about building and sustaining mutually beneficial relationships. Share information and help others.
  6. Take initiative and connect to others. When doing so, personalize your requests to provide a framework for the person on the other end, especially if you don’t know them directly.
  7. Ask for endorsements from others to support your “Skills and Endorsements” and provide them for others. Prioritize endorsements according to which skills would be most beneficial to the type of job you’d like to get, rather than have them listed in highest to lowest numeric order.
  8. Recommendations from current and former colleagues are powerful. Be willing to provide recommendations to others or lead with a recommendation for someone else.
  9. Use full names as well as acronyms in your profile to increase search engine optimization. Think about different ways you would refer to something and capture them.
  10. Join groups that demonstrate interest in the field in which you want to work.