LinkedIn has gone under quite a social transformation in the past 18 to 24 months. While it continues to be the definitive social network for professionals, LinkedIn has introduced more features that make it more social and encourage more interaction.
In this article, I’d like to examine some powerful features that LinkedIn offers that are commonly overlooked. With such an influential audience, it only makes sense to get the most out of your LinkedIn experience.
Perhaps the most powerful newer feature on LinkedIn is the ability to add rich media to your profile, such as video and PDF files. This not only makes your profile immediately much more interesting, but also allows you to showcase your portfolio.
While there used to be third-party applications that made this possible, LinkedIn did away with these last year. Their own version is much cleaner and works better, as well.
One of the lesser utilized features of LinkedIn is their mentions feature. This feature was rolled out with a bit of fanfare at the beginning of the year. However, it still is not getting the traction that was expected, despite being a powerful tool to strike up conversation in a casual manner with your LinkedIn contacts.
One excellent use of the mentions feature is to make mention of those contacts that you want to get to know better (and for them to get to know you, as well.) This can be done for purposes of saying congratulations to a contact, to point out that you thought of a contact when you read a news article, to ask a question of their expertise, etc.
Since the name of the game is providing value to the people in your network on LinkedIn, using the mentions feature to connect two of your contacts is a great way to provide that value and pay it forward. You can do this for contacts of yours to help them out – when putting good out into the world it always comes back to you.
Lastly, we have an incredibly basic, yet often misused feature on LinkedIn. Here, I’m referring to the headline. By default, LinkedIn will populate the headline with a job title. However, if you are president of XYZ Corporation or owner of ABC Inc., that doesn’t tell someone at a glance what it is that you can do for them.
The headline can be customized and tailored to speak to the person viewing your profile. It should talk to the person and tell him or her what type of service or value you can provide.
Keywords related to your profession and what you have to offer should be included in your headline for purposes of more users finding your profile in search.
LinkedIn is making strides in upgrading the service, making it more social and interactive. At the same time, there are untapped opportunities available right now that will allow you to stand out in this influential network.