LinkedIn offers many tools for fleshing out your professional profile and maximizing its visibility. Start by adding recommendations and endorsements and making your profile mobile-friendly.
Q: Is it worthwhile to spend time getting recommendations and endorsements for my LinkedIn profile? And should I also think about how my profile appears on mobile devices?
A: You should absolutely take the time to add recommendations to your LinkedIn profile. This information is valuable to anyone who views it, especially to recruiters who are looking for candidates to fill open positions.
There is no rule about how many recommendations you should have, but I suggest you try to get at least six. LinkedIn makes it easy to ask people to provide a recommendation; all you need to do is follow their directions.
Cast a wide net for recommendations. Don’t just ask former managers. You can also include recommendations from trusted colleagues, mentors, customers, clients, members, and service providers. Although it’s not a requirement, it’s also a good idea to reciprocate and offer to provide a recommendation to anyone you’re asking to write one for you.
Don’t just ask former managers for recommendations. You can also include recommendations from trusted colleagues, mentors, customers, clients, members, and service providers.
LinkedIn’s “Skills and Endorsements” feature lets people vouch for your knowledge and ability in specific areas. Many people dismiss endorsements, because it can be hard for an outside observer to determine if the person who endorses you truly knows your skill level. While I would agree that endorsements are less valuable than recommendations for validating your skills, they can be valuable to you in another way: When you’re notified that someone has endorsed you for a skill, be sure to thank the person and take advantage of this networking opportunity.
It’s also worth taking the time to ensure your profile is optimized for mobile devices, since almost half of people looking at LinkedIn are doing so on a phone or tablet. Start by looking at your profile on your phone to see how it looks.
The most critical features for viewers on mobile devices are the first 73 characters of your tagline (the text directly below your name at the top of the page) and the first 42 characters of your profile. Be sure viewers get a sense of who you are from what is easily seen on a phone without scrolling to increase your chances of getting noticed.
If you’re considering a job search or are already in the middle of one, take the time to make your LinkedIn profile as polished and accessible as it can be.