How To Dominate The LinkedIn Game

LinkedIn is becoming more and more valuable for students and professionals alike.  You can use it to leverage your personal brand, land internships and jobs, and add great people to your professional network.

Upswing has created a list for you to use to start dominating the LinkedIn game like a true boss.

1. Fully Complete Your Profile

Treat your profile like you do your resume; keep it professional and complete.  Absolutely no typos!  Be sure to include a suave profile picture, updated information, and skills & endorsements.

2. Customize Your Public Profile URL

One simple way to make your profile look more professional (and easier to share) is by claiming your public profile URL.  Instead of a URL with a million confusing numbers at the end, it will look nice and clean.  This will add to your personal brand.  Customize your URL by clicking here.

3. Join Groups

Not only will these groups show up on your profile and let visitors know what you are interested in, but they will also provide a way for you to connect with people that have similar career goals.  Remember, LinkedIn is a professional social networking site, so network as much as possible.

Groups offer an additional (secret) benefit: connect with people outside of your immediate network, without the need of an introduction or a premium account.  If you find someone that is completely outside of your network and you wish to connect, look at what groups they have joined and join one.  Once you’ve gained membership, you can look through the members, find the person that you are interested in, and send them a request to connect.

4. Be Identifiable

Post status updates somewhat frequently, about 1-3 times per week. You can post a new job or internship, interesting articles (Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Tech Crunch, etc.), and relevant quotes. By often showing up in others’ updates, you will achieve top-of-mind awareness, which may lead to opportunities in the future.  A final way to be identifiable is to endorse peoples’ skills; plus, people will usually endorse you in return.

5. Create A Dummy Profile

There are certain situations where it is not appropriate to be identifiable on LinkedIn.  One example of this is stalking an executive at a company that you’re trying to score an internship or full-time position with before you’ve met him or her.  In this case, it would be of interest to you to create a dummy profile that you can use for your creeping endeavors.  Note that you can change your account settings to anonymous so that people won’t be able to see if you have viewed their profile.  However, if you do this, then LinkedIn disallows you the ability to see who has viewed your profile.  To avoid missing out on seeing who’s checking out your profile on the off chance that it would matter, we recommend creating a dummy profile.

6. Connect With As Many People As Possible

The way we see it, the more connections the better.  Some people disagree with this and suggest not connecting with someone you do not know.  But what is the worst thing that could happen?  The answer is nothing.  There are only upsides.  You never know who someone knows or where they will be in the future.  That said, do not go and request a ton of random people to connect with you.  LinkedIn will put your profile on lockdown if this happens.  When you meet someone who you’d like to stay connected with professionally, tell him or her that you’ll send a LinkedIn request.  Make this a habit.

7. Add Your Profile To Your Email Signature

A great way to get connected with fellow students, clients, or people you’re working with is to add your LinkedIn profile link to your email signature.  This indirectly increases the exposure to your profile, helping you make connections, even when you aren’t actively doing so.

8. Personalize LinkedIn Email Requests

“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”  This is one of the most boring sentences ever written.  Switch it up by tailoring your email request to the person you’re attempting to connect with.  We recommend including a few sentences explaining who you are and what you’re hoping to get out of your connection (be tactful here, guys).  This is basically another chance at a first impression!


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