A great LinkedIn profile can literally make you more money.
I haven’t cold-applied for a job in years because I have recruiters reaching out to me non-stop.
If you’re serious about growing your career, the only social network you should use is LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is full of inspiring stores and people. But here’s the thing, everything you post will be seen by every professional connection you have.
Your grandma isn’t on LinkedIn. Chances are your parents aren’t either, or your neighbor.
No one posts photos of their dogs or what hip and trendy place they ate at for lunch.
People are posting about their successes at work. Their new job at huge companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple.
You want motivation? Spend some time scrolling through LinkedIn.
You’re just a few clicks away from finding recruiters at all the top companies you’d love to work for. You can see their backgrounds, past jobs, and you can follow them to get updates on their new posts (and new jobs).
There are a few things on LinkedIn that when done right will accelerate your career and maximize your earnings potential.
1. Keep your profile updated
This sounds easy, but doing it well takes work. Not only should you always add your latest jobs, but you should be writing about the specific duties for that job.
There’s a secret to a well-written profile, and it’s all about doing your research.
Here’s what you should do.
- Go to LinkedIn, click on Jobs at the top
- Search for a job one level above yours
- Open job postings that look interesting, or are at companies you want to work at
- Look for common words. Write them down, we’ll come back to them
- Some listings will show your current skills and how you match up to what the job poster is looking for. It looks like this, and they’re a gold mine
Now, take that list of keywords you made and do two things with it.
- Update your profile with keywords you currently do or skills you have. Do not lie.
- For the skills you don’t have, make a plan that gets you there.
Filling the gaps in your skillset is not easy. How do you get leadership experience without being promoted to a manager? Some of that you’ll have to figure out on your own, but now that you’re actively aware of what skills the next level requires, you can figure out how to increase your knowledge.
You can even go to your current manager and discuss where you want to grow in your career. Let them know you’ve identified gaps and you’d like to work together to create a plan that gets you there, and how they can help. Trust me, a good manager will be stoked that you took this initiative.
And if they’re not excited to help you grow your career? Well, you don’t need them. Time to look elsewhere.
There’s an art to keyword stuffing your LinkedIn profile. Here are some dos and donts.
- Use bullet points. Keep it to 3-4 per job.
- Include the most relevant keywords from your earlier research.
- Be honest.
- Include results. How much revenue you generated, what % you increased that KPI.
- Write a short About entry, written in the first person. Nothing reads worse than “Nick is an accomplished marketing leader”. :vomit:
- Misrepresent your skills, experience, or background.
- Write huge paragraphs with every keyword under the sun.
- Talk in the 3rd person “Nick manages 5 people”. You’re not Bob Dole.
- Use buzzwords: Rockstar, Ninja, Bulldog.
2. Post Professionally Interesting Things
Your posts on LinkedIn should do one of three things:
- Spark discussion
- Educate or add value
- Be professionally interesting and relevant
Here’s a great example from the CMO of Gong.io, a sales intelligence tool. He posted something interesting that is relevant to today’s Coronavirus pandemic. Bonus: it was about their product
I’ve found that posts are best paired with an image, but not everything you post should have one.
Your posts have the potential to not only be seen by your network, but by your network’s connections too. Every time someone likes your post it could show up in their network’s feed.
The most successful LinkedIn posts I’ve seen all have one thing in common.
No one likes to read about how you’re #crushingit at your new job, or how you got some mega raise or got a big-time promotion. Sure, you’ll get some likes and congratulatory comments, but it’s not interesting.
Failure is interesting. Posting about your failures shows vulnerability and that you’ve learned from past mistakes.
Post about how you totally bombed a presentation or screwed up a report for a major client.
Everyone screws up. We’re human after all, no one is perfect.
Constantly posting about only your highlights makes it seem like you’re hiding something. Like it’s too good to be true, because it is.
The more you post, the more other people will see you and your content.
That means recruiters, too.
Do you know how many recruiters there are in Austin, Texas on LinkedIn? Twelve Thousand.
What about New York City?
Recruiters search for job candidates all day on LinkedIn. It’s their primary acquisition tool. Having an updated and active profile is the easiest way to stand out. When recruiters reach out to you you have an inherent advantage. They want to talk to you!
I get 5 to 10 messages from recruiters each month on LinkedIn, trying to steal me away from my current company.
I get those messages because my profile is updated and I’ve made sure to include keywords into my profile. So when recruiters search for candidates, I pop up.
LinkedIn search also considers your posting activity, giving higher weight to active users, and if you’ve paid for LinkedIn premium or not. In some cases, it may be worth paying for a month or two, just so you show up higher on the search results if you’re actively considering switching jobs.
I’ll never cold-apply to a job again.
3. Make New Connections
You should always be expanding your professional network. Two reasons:
- The larger your network, the more your posts will be viewed, the greater your reach.
- You’ll never know when you’ll need to find a new job. There’s no downside to being connected.
Making new connections is easy. Scroll through your feed and see who shows up that isn’t in your network. Do they work at a related company in your industry? Do they have the same job as you?
Send them a connection request. Keep it simple: “I saw we do similar things so I wanted to connect”.
If your goal is just to connect with people then they’re usually willing to accept you. If you’re trying to sell them then you may have a tougher time.
Nothing is worse than accepting a new connection request, only to get a sales message immediately after. Don’t be that person.
Once you’re done connecting with people in your feed, do a search for
Find other professionals who do exactly what you do in your city, and connect. Those are easy.
Then do the same thing in other major cities. New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco.
Want a guranteed connection request? Find recruiters. They always say yes.
Better yet, if you’re interested in a job, find their recruiter on LinkedIn. Send them a connection request, and then a message.
This is the one time where an immediate message is appropriate.
Tell them you’re interested in the position and would like to set up a time to chat. If they respond to you, that’s a great positive signal. It means they’ve checked out your profile and think you could be a good fit.
Plus, you helped make their job easier. Who doesn’t love that?
Creating an All-Star Profile Is Easy
It just takes work.
If you put the work in it could change your career. You could massively increase your salary.
Keep your profile updated.
Post interesting things often.
Make new connections.
By the way, add me on LinkedIn too. Let’s connect!
Did you like this? Consider using my Amazon link the next time you want to buy something. It costs you nothing and I receive a small commission for referring you. This content is not sponsored in any way.