13 LinkedIn Best Practices Smart People Follow to Make the Most of Their Network

Woman using LinkedIn


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Valerie Martinelli, MPA 184
Career & Leadership Development Expert
LinkedIn isn’t just a site to list your resume and hope that maybe a recruiter will contact you about a job. As the largest professional networking site out there, there is a lot of opportunity and leverage to utilize it, possibly even in ways you may not ever even considered. Let’s discuss some practices that most may not have considered trying so you can make the most of LinkedIn.

1. Test Content Updates

As a job seeker, you should be sharing your knowledge and skills through regular status updates and blogs. However, what many may not have considered is testing out some ideas on Twitter first. You can guide your content strategy on LinkedIn by seeing how these ideas perform and respond on Twitter. Gauge your ideas and content by responses, likes, and overall performance. If you see an idea that does well, then use it a status update or write a blog about it on LinkedIn. And speaking of blogs, were you wondering how to get those featured on LinkedIn? Let’s look at a LinkedIn best practices most people don’t think to try to do so.

2. Getting Content Featured on LinkedIn

So, if you’d like to try to get your blog featured, here’s a LinkedIn best practice to try out. Sometimes we tend to make things more complicated than what they need to be. You can try out this very simple strategy:
  • Use old-school, easy SEO by inputting a keyword into the title and throughout the text of the article.
  • Tweet the LinkedIn Editors and ask them to feature your article on a specific channel. Remember, the power of social media!
  • It’s not enough to just get it there, remember you’re trying to show off your knowledge in front of a very large audience and keep it there. Next, what you can do is continue to drive traffic to your article from a boosted post on Facebook or from a promoted post on Twitter or LinkedIn to drive traffic to your article. It doesn’t have to be for long, but this can create a steady flow.

3. Connect with Your Alumni

Remember when you could easily connect with alumni on LinkedIn? With LinkedIn’s last update that disappeared. However, there is a workaround that can be used to effortlessly connect with alumni. You must be logged in when trying to do so. Connecting with alumni is an excellent way to find a new job or just to further establish your network. 

4. Determine Your Compensation

LinkedIn can now be utilized to determine your compensation as well. The salary function allows users to determine their earnings potential by entering their job title and location. After entering some brief information, such as how many years you’ve been in your current position, it will allow you to enter any additional forms of compensation, such as bonuses or stock options. This feature allows users to see if your company is paying you accordingly in comparison with others in the industry. You also can check by other titles and locations. This data is not shared with your network, it is private only to you.

5. Send Personalized Messages with Each of Your Invites

It is very easy for anyone to just click “connect” and not actually take the time to write a message and tell someone why they would like to connect with them, or where they met (at a networking event, maybe? Mutual friend?). By sending personalized messages, people are more likely to accept your connection request. I advise using the space to share with them details how you remember them if you’ve met before at a previous event or from a mutual connection because it helps in forming a connection online.

6. Find Networking Events

Another LinkedIn best practice many people may not think of is to use the social platform to find networking events. The search bar can be used for SEO purposes, which will pick up events in your industry. Since this is a social platform, you also can use it to…be social. Share networking events if you think that they will be of interest to others in your network and use the platform to expand your network offline as well.

7. Use the Rule of Reciprocity

If you want people to comment on your posts, then comment on theirs. If you want others to endorse you, then endorse them. The rule of reciprocity is important in social media because it how to build relationships, community, and more connections. Engagement is oftentimes called the currency of social media. Become an active engager on other posts and people will engage with yours.

8. Join More Groups

Groups are no longer just for Facebook. Joining groups on LinkedIn increases your reach. So, if you’re currently searching for a job or just trying to build up your network, this is one of the best ways to do so. The rule of reciprocity applies in here as well. You cannot join and immediately expect results or to receive a benefit. Ultimately, what you put into it is what you will receive out of it.

9. Be Social

It’s a social network, so be social. Follow more Influencers, join more conversations, leave recommendations (here's how helpful LinkedIn recommendations can be) and just be social. People want to learn about you and what you have to offer personally and professionally. This is how others will get to know you best.

10. Start a Conversation Positioning Yourself as a Thought Leader

Potential employers are consistently seeking thought leaders. The job market is also competitive, so being overly shy and not sharing your capabilities, talents, and accomplishments will not work out in a candidate’s favor. If you’re seeking to capture a potential employer’s attention, then start a conversation by positioning yourself as a thought leader. This is an excellent way to capture the attention of people and companies.

11. Get a Custom URL

Having a custom URL is important for personal branding purposes. Also, it is helpful when listing on your resume and giving out a less clunky URL. Using your name establishes your presence on social media. In addition, if a potential employer Googles you, your LinkedIn typically ranks very high, and you will be found easily.

12. Write a Captivating Headline

The default on LinkedIn is to have your current or last job title as your headline. A LinkedIn best practice is to write one to capture the attention of people, especially your specific audience. Give these LinkedIn example headlines a look for inspiration.

13. Don’t Waste the Space in the Summary Section

Another best practice that most people don’t think to try or do on LinkedIn is to fully utilize the space provided for the summary. An ideal summary should be about 3-5 brief paragraphs with a bulleted section in the middle. A well-written summary walks people through your key skills, work passions, unique qualifications, and professional experiences that you’ve had over the years.
By utilizing these LinkedIn best practices, you can build your presence on this social media platform, garner the attention of decision-makers in various companies, and establish additional connections and relationships online and offline that can last well into your future