I’m going to start off with a disclaimer: there are no revolutionary, mind-blowing LinkedIn hacks embedded within this post. In fact, if I were to put a gun to your head and said that you have 5 seconds to tell me how you think you’d get more profile views (a very likely scenario), there’s a 97% chance your answer would be exactly what I’m about to talk about.
Oh, and if you're someone who read this blog title and thought “why should I care? A profile view is just a vanity metric that doesn’t actually mean anything, and I don’t really see the point of LinkedIn anyways,” stick around because you’ll see why LinkedIn and profile views DO MATTER.
But before we get started...
It’s T-Shirt Time
For those who weren’t fortunate enough to be graced by the guidos & guidettes of Jersey Shore while the show aired, t-shirt time can be defined as “when it’s time to take off the wife beater (aka the shirt before the shirt) and put on a fresh t-shirt for going out (courtesy of Urban Dictionary).” The same concept applies here. Before you put too much effort into getting others to see your LinkedIn profile, you’ll want to make sure you at least look presentable. I’ll get into the characteristics of a killer LinkedIn profile in a future blog post (subscribe now to get notified when it comes out), but here’s a quick check-list:
- A professional profile picture of you (and only you)
- A catchy headline
- An enticing summary. This section offers a great opportunity to tell your story and list some of your skills. These keywords will help you get found!
- An up-to-date experience section, with a short list or summary of your responsibilities, actions, and results for each
- Attach media to your experiences if applicable.. makes your profile more visually appealing & engaging!
- Be sure to list any volunteer experiences or projects you’ve worked on.. you need to show a sense of what moves you
- Recommendations: SUPER important. They’re easier than you think to get, all you need to do is ask.
Don’t worry if your profile isn’t super amazing at this point. It will take a bit of tweaking over time to get it the way you want it to look. As long as your profile does a half-decent job of representing who you are, there is a huge benefit in marketing yourself right away.
For a long time, I was curious if simply being a bit more active on LinkedIn would affect how many people viewed my profile. By a bit more active, I’m talking about no more than 5 minutes a day. I decided to try out a mini-experiment, and these were my results:
By looking at the graph, I began averaging at least 10 views a week. After historically getting around 5-6 a week, I was able to increase my profile views by almost 100%. I hit 19 views in the final week of my experiment, which normally took me at least 3-4 weeks previously. It may not seem like much, and I know some of you reading this will have 10x as many views as I have, but it was enough to put me in the top 6% of my 640 connections.
Here are some of the things I did (and recommend):
1.) Post Interesting/Relevant Articles as a Status Update Every Day
I read a lot of articles in my time spent procrastinating every day anyways, so I took 2 seconds to choose the most interesting one(s), and post it as my status update. I would also include a short comment, because it gives my opinion regarding the article, and invites others to chime in as well. Some articles were hit & miss, but that’s all part of the process. You’ll eventually get a feel for what kind of content interests your connections, and you’re getting some valuable face time on their news feeds. Do this at least once a day.
2.) Post Interesting/Relevant Articles in Groups
The same thing as above applies, except now you’re taking it one step further and expanding your reach beyond your network. If you're not a part of any groups, take a few minutes and join the ones that interest you most. The groups that you're a part of affect what search results you come up for and the type of articles that show up on your homepage, as well as a bunch of other benefits.
3.) Comment on Other People’s Articles or Updates
Again, this one takes very little time, especially if you’re reading their content anyways. Chime-in with a one-liner on why you enjoyed the article, or spend a few more minutes and stir the conversation. You’ll once again be getting some valuable face time, and people will naturally want to see the profile behind the comment if you’ve caught their attention.
4.) Post Your Accomplishments
Surely you must accomplish something you’re proud of every now and then (it might even just be a project you worked on over the weekend). The great thing is, people like a feel-good story and love to see their friends succeed. Highlighting your accomplishments will likely the type of content that gets you the most likes & comments; not to mention the fact that it also makes you look good.
5.) Publish a Post
I saved this one for last in hopes to not scare you off. If you’re really serious about building your personal brand and developing some street cred, seriously consider this option, as I believe this new functionality might be one of the best features LinkedIn has to offer. I've talked before about the many benefits of having a personal blog, but a few people came back to me saying they didn't have the know-how to actually set one up. While I wouldn't recommend it as an absolute substitute to a personal blog, the LinkedIn publishing platform eliminates all of the technical barriers 'stopping' you from putting out content today. If you don't already have it, you can apply for early access here. Aside from positioning you as a thought-leader, the platform offers some really awesome features. Your posts get showcased in a prominent position on your LinkedIn profile, and all of your connections get a notification that you've put out a new piece.
If you don't think you have anything to post about, you need to think harder. I'd be willing to place a bet that you have a unique experience or opinion that would interest even just a small subset of the people you're connected with.
Ok, can you please tell me now why views matter?
There could be a number of different reasons why profile views are important, but for the purpose of this blog I'm going to assume you are looking for new job opportunities.
One of the great things about building your personal brand and attracting profile views is that you flip the job hunting equation completely upside-down. Instead of battling with thousands of others for a single position, you're now showcasing what you can bring to the table, and getting employers to battle for you. In an economy where jobs are supposedly sparse, this is huge!!
Here is an example of a LinkedIn message I received shortly after my mini-experiment:
By putting in a little bit of effort every day, my personal brand is going out an finding me 'guaranteed' job opportunities while I sleep!
The purpose of this article was to show you that it's extremely easy to build your LinkedIn fortress, which will ultimately help you find more and better jobs. Don't expect results right away, because it's a slow process, but starting by putting in just 5 minutes today will allow you to reap the rewards in the future. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments section below; I'd be glad to answer them! Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, and I'm also offering a few LinkedIn profile consulting sessions for anyone who wants to go over their profile 1-on-1.
- Share this article on your LinkedIn profile 😀 (there's a share-bar below)
- If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy The Secret to Killing an Interview and Stop Hiding and Use Facebook to Help You Get Hired.
- Subscribe to my newsletter to be the first to receive content in the future.
- Sign up for a quick consulting session to go over your profile 1-on-1.
- Close that Buzzfeed window, and start creating/sharing valuable content on LinkedIn!