LinkedIn For Dummies Cheat Sheet - dummies
Cheat Sheet

LinkedIn For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From LinkedIn For Dummies, 5th Edition

Signing on to LinkedIn means you’re part of the largest online professional network in the world. Look here for helpful guidelines for using LinkedIn, especially when job searching. LinkedIn helps you create and maintain an online profile you can then use to build a professional network.

10 Steps to Building Your LinkedIn Network

The more you do, the more contacts you could have in your LinkedIn network! If you want to build and expand your LinkedIn network, follow these steps:

  1. Fill out your LinkedIn profile completely.

  2. Check for former colleagues and classmates who are on LinkedIn by using specific LinkedIn searches.
  3. Import your Outlook contacts.

  4. Add former email addresses to your account so past connections can find you more easily.
  5. Check for people who share a group or affiliation with you.
  6. Go through your business cards for potential contacts and search for them on LinkedIn. Send them an invitation or a request to join.
  7. Search through your first-degree network connections.
  8. Advertise yourself by joining and participating in LinkedIn groups.
  9. Use the People You May Know feature.
  10. Meet people on LinkedIn (through LinkedIn groups and jobs as well as your news feed discussions) and then invite them to join your network.

10 Tips for Enhancing Your LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn profile page is your personal home page to the business world. To enhance your profile, log in to your LinkedIn account, hover your mouse over Profile on the top menu bar, and then select Edit Profile from the drop-down menu. Then follow these tips:

  • Create a customized URL. For example, you can set up your LinkedIn profile to be found at instead of the default, which could be something like

  • Add a professional-looking head shot photo to your profile (something classy).

  • Add your past employers so as many former co-workers as possible can find you.

  • Make sure your professional headline emphasizes any keywords you want to use to promote yourself.

  • Make your profile public and set it to Full View so your LinkedIn profile shows up in web search results.

  • Add links from your LinkedIn profile to websites you are trying to promote, like your blog, e-commerce store, social media accounts, or company website.

  • For website links that you add to your profile, select Other and rename each link to include meaningful keywords. For example, instead of calling it “My Blog,” call it “Joel’s E-Commerce Product Blog.”

  • Include all of your main email addresses in your profile so people can connect with you. LinkedIn does not display your email addresses to the public; it simply keeps your email addresses on file when someone tries to connect with you.

  • Make sure the Summary field of your profile contains your critical skills and important career-related keywords in a way that makes the Summary readable (not a spammy list of keywords).
  • Upload examples of your work to your profile by attaching video, pictures, documents, or slide presentations.

General LinkedIn Tips

To make effective use of the functionality and advantages of LinkedIn, stay updated, and enhance your professional life, keep these helpful LinkedIn tips in mind:

  • Start leaving recommendations for first-degree network connections that you feel have earned a great one.

  • Invest a good amount of time upfront to create a great, detailed profile.

  • Spend a small but productive amount of time, on a consistent basis, updating and maintaining your LinkedIn network and profile.

  • Use lots of search terms in an advanced search to find the right person. If you get no results, remove one or two words and try again.

  • Research someone on LinkedIn before meeting him in a job interview or business meeting.

  • Use LinkedIn’s platform to write long-form posts and demonstrate your knowledge to the community.

  • Interact with your network through news feed updates by liking and commenting on other people’s posts and articles that are published.
  • Use the LinkedIn Status Update function (Share an Update) to keep your network appraised of your business.

Using LinkedIn to Search for a Job

LinkedIn is a great way to help you use professional networking to job search. Here are some helpful hints when using LinkedIn to look for employment:

  • Make sure your profile is up-to-date, accurate, and matches whatever you provide to a hiring manager or recruiter.

  • Stay on top of your network updates so you know if someone in your network has been promoted or switched jobs to a company where you would like to work.

  • Use the Advanced People search to find second- or third-degree network members who work at a desired target company. Request an introduction to those people and ask for advice or an informational interview.

  • Connect with everyone you have worked with, because these people know your professional capabilities well and could potentially recommend you on LinkedIn.

  • Make sure your profile highlights measurable accomplishments you achieved at your jobs. For example, instead of saying “I managed the sales force,” say “I managed a 37% growth in revenue in the last four quarters.”

  • Do a search and connect with as many recruiters as you can find who look for candidates in your target industry or job focus.

  • Use LinkedIn Company pages to see which of your network connections works at a particular company, if anyone you know has recently been promoted at that company, and specific information about the company that you need for your cover letter and interview.

  • Don’t forget to use LinkedIn’s job board. As of this writing, there are millions of postings available when you search the web on LinkedIn’s job board.

  • If you find and apply for a job using LinkedIn’s job board, see if the job poster is someone in your extended network. If so, ask for a referral or introduction to that person (or, if necessary, use LinkedIn’s InMail system) so you can connect with her and make a great impression!