The usual – and often correct – assumption is that visibility is credibility. On LinkedIn this is still true to some extent, but…and that is a very large BUT, only if you have optimized your profile.

Make sure you have done enough networking online to populate your profile with sufficient connections and recommendations to prove your credibility.

LinkedIn has reached a point where you may be considered unprofessional if you don’t have a profile. It’s easy to create – you’re visible on LinkedIn simply by registering and entering a few brief details about yourself.

However you must also demonstrate that you are fully invested and become engaged with LinkedIn as a social networking tool, to reap any kind of rewards from becoming a member.

Many LinkedIn users have duly filled out a LinkedIn profile, applied for jobs and then found they are not getting any interviews. Using LinkedIn as a job board can work extremely well, but only if you are utilizing the tool well and to its full potential.

An assertive approach is key

If you are using LinkedIn as a Job Board, you cannot apply the same techniques used with a traditional job board. You must network, be aggressive and tenacious if you want to get your foot in the door.

First of all, bring value to your profile and to the network. Be active and update your status. What are you reading? What seminars are you attending? Which interesting industry people did you meet? The more you put in, the more you get out.

If an active recruiter does connect with you on LinkedIn, they will expect you to be an active user and be able to read about your recent – and relevant – endeavors, not just past employment history.

Secondly, don’t limit yourself to networking amongst existing friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Extend your reach.

For example, if you’re interested in the pharmaceutical industry, try searching with some pharmaceutical keywords – and connecting with some of the many small to medium businesses that pop up.

LinkedIn is your real estate on the internet. If you put the time in to maintain it and keep it looking fresh and up-to-date, you will reap the rewards. If you don’t, you will find there is no benefit to owning your profile on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is Changing

LinkedIn has changed a lot over the last 18 months – and you have to keep up. The good thing is that amongst all the changes, the usability of the site has improved. The dashboard has evolved, and it’s useful to stay up-to-date when changes are made.

As many new fields and functions have been added, irregular users have fallen behind, creating gaping holes in many established profiles. That just doesn’t look professional. LinkedIn is sure to evolve further and it’s imperative to keep up appearances and not let your profile slide.

Some of the new tools added are great visibility-boosters, such as the ‘Skills’ section. You can insert industry keywords and skills into your profile, and your connections can also endorse your expertise in those areas.

LinkedIn even suggests skills for you based on your resume and keywords in your profile – but you have to actively select those skills for employers to come across your profile in their search for a top candidate.

Now you’re ready

If you’re satisfied your profile is the most up to date, populated and connected it can be, you’re ready to use ‘Easy Apply’.

It’s worth noting that companies add this button to increase applications for a position – and you want to be the candidate that stands out for all the right reasons. With impressive recommendations, established contacts, and a professional, well-written profile, you’ll be sitting in that new role in no time!

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