Although perhaps not nearly as cool as Twitter and Snapchat or as funny as Facebook or Instagram, – there’s no doubt that when it comes to professional circles, LinkedIn is essential to finding others and getting found.

The culmination of Can’t Do Withouts with Great to Haves is an increase in profile views and outreach by recruiters or those with decision-making power.

CAN’T LIVE WITHOUTS

#1 A Nice Heatshot

I recommend a full-face or one that gets your head and shoulders in view. Professionally taken is best but having someone use a digital camera and photo-editing filters will suffice.

Just make sure it is not blurry, and that your face can clearly be seen so that people checking you out on a small screen can see what you look like without having to squint.

#2 Customized Headline

When you don’t select a headline, LinkedIn will default to your current job title. If you are at the Top levels of a Fortune 500 organization, your current title will likely suffice.

For the rest of us, however, the headline is a chance to insert keywords used by those searching LinkedIn for talent like you.

Here’s what I mean:

Manager – XYZ Company

v.

Chip Manufacturing Plant Manager | Strategies that Contain Costs, Grow Revenues + Drive Turnaround

#3 An All-Star Status Profile

When you go to “Edit Profile,” check out the profile strength image in the top right corner. If it doesn’t say “All-Star” then your profile is not complete.

A complete profile means you have included info in as many categories as you can – but at the very least have something in the Summary, Experience and Education section.

The fuller your profile is, the higher you will rank in searches. If you can, include industry affiliations, volunteer roles, publications, coursework and awards, to name a few.

#4 Recommendations & Endorsements

There is no better way to back up your thoughts and opinions about yourself than by including the thoughts and opinions of others who can vouch for you.

I recommend at least one recommendation per job entry, although three is ideal to really get the point across. With endorsements, select those skills or keywords most relevant to your career aspirations, and list them at the top.

The best way to get recommendation and endorsements? Request them and reciprocate!

GREAT TO HAVES

These techniques will give those engaged in a full-force job search or those using LinkedIn to attract new clients a leg up on the competition:

#1 Share Content via Status Updates

Status updates are a great way to share articles from LinkedIn, the news, blogs and even videos. Just be sure whatever you share relates somehow to your industry or career aspirations.

#2 Blog on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the few websites where everyone can publish – at no extra charge!

Just like with status update content sharing, be sure to keep your posts, whether talking about industry trends or hot-button topics, relevant to your career goals.

#3 Join Groups

LinkedIn Groups are professional associations that intersect with your current or aspirational career.

Any articles shared, liked or commented upon can contribute to your profile appearing more frequently in the feeds of your connections. Recruiters tend to visit them as well to find talent and learn more about them.

LinkedIn is home to hundreds of thousands of groups of all sizes. The chances of finding a handful that align with your career interests are high!

NICE V. NEED TO HAVE

LinkedIn offers an ideal platform to find others and get found – whether you are eager to make a career move or grow your business, or are happy but open to opportunities.