LinkedInThere are 2 new LinkedIn accounts created every second. 

There were approximately 300 million users as of May 01, 2014 – 100 million of which were in the US.

40% of these 300 million users said the check LinkedIn daily.

So what does this mean for you?  It means you’re a drop in the bucket; however, there are things you can do to stand out from the crowd and get noticed. There are tried and true methods to building a successful LinkedIn profile.  This article will focus on making a personal profile, but there are other guides for making your business successful on LinkedIn.

Include a Professional Picture

This may seem like common sense, but there are a depressing number of profiles without pictures.  If all you see is a white profile against a grey background they will wonder what you’re hiding.  This generic picture is even labeled as a ghost person – probably not something you want to be seen as.  Also, this is not the time to show off your dog or your cat.  If it’s not a picture of you, don’t use it!  As a general rule of thumb, make it professional.  Do some research and mirror the style of those in the same industry.

Join LinkedIn Communities and Participate

A great way to reach a large number of people is to join a community and then actively participate.  Many people join communities and then call it good, but if you want to set yourself apart you should start discussions and ask questions.  People notice who is active on LinkedIn.

Complete your ProfileCompleting your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn provides you with a great tool that tells you how complete your profile is. Do you have all of the fields completed?  If not your profile strength will be less than desirable.  LinkedIn can help guide you to which areas you need to add to.  Taking the time to fill out your profile shows you are committed.

Don’t Forget about Keywords

You don’t need to be an SEO master to understand the importance of keywords.You should know your industry well enough to know what recruiters will be looking for.  Include these words and phrases at least in your summary and definitely in your skills and endorsements. Develop the proper skill sets so what you can provide and what they’re looking for are the same.

Disclaimer: if you cram as many keywords into your summary as you can, no one will hire you.  Say what you need to say and then move on.  Focus more on what you can provide them rather than on what they might be searching for.

Network, Network, Network

We couldn’t write an article about LinkedIn and not talk about the importance of networking.  You cannot expect people to take you seriously if you have 13 connections after you’ve been on LinkedIn for a year and a half.  You also can’t expect people to seek you out all the time – be proactive.  Make a point of remembering the names of people you meet so you can request to connect with them.

LinkedInUpdate your Profile Frequently

At Big Leap, we recognize the importance of maintaining your online presence. LinkedIn is not something you should create once and the ignore. Go back to it frequently and update it.  Feel free to add additional skills as you learn them and change your profile picture from time to time so it stays current.  By continuously updating your LinkedIn profile you let others know what you’ve been up to and what they can expect from you.

Jamie Bates