10 years ago in Silicon Valley, tech entrepreneur Reid Hoffman's dreamed up LinkedIn…

….Today, the company has now claimed and conquered a reputation as "the 'gold standard' for professional networking," said Lynne Sarikas, MBA Career Center director at the D'Amore-McKim School of Business at Boston's Northeastern University. "Employers are concerned if a candidate is not on LinkedIn."

In other words, you have to see and be seen on this site more than any other professional social networking community.

But now, with its primary market maturing and a rapid growth in competitor sites, the 'Ferrari' of professional networking is poised to add services that will expand its audience of both recruiters and job-seekers.

I know you’ve probably looked at lots of tips for really getting the most out of LinkedIn, but I wanted to share Creativedge's tips to remind you that it still really is THE Number 1 place to build your name and reputation.

Here are our 5 top tips for getting the most out of LinkedIn:-

1. Include a ‘call to action’

An important goal with online networking is to convert connections into paying customers.

One way to do this on LinkedIn is to create a unique ‘call to action’. So instead of simply filing in Linked Ins' generic 'my website' or ‘my blog’ links on your profile page, take that extra step and tell visitors to click directly on your links.

For instance, write 'click here to view' (then insert your product or service here).

2. Create and participate in groups

Not only can creating and managing a group of your own provide you with a level of credibility it can allow you to expand your network to reach targeted, influential individuals in your field.

Research topics of interest within your industry and choose the top two or three as the basis of your group.

3. Send targeted messages

Accessible from a LinkedIn Company Page, ‘targeted status updates’ can be an effective way for business owners to tailor the content of their status updates to specific types of company followers.

This helps to ensure the right people are reading the most relevant messages from you, at the right time.

4. Avoid buzzwords

If you've described your start-up as "creative," "effective" or "innovative" you might want to consider using a different adjective.

Clichés won't help your profile stand out and may not accurately convey your professional identity and USPs on the site.

5. Optimise your profile for search

With hundreds of millions of people searching LinkedIn, you want your company’s profile to stand out.

When creating your profile language, be sure to include key words that are related and relevant to your business and industry to help improve the chances of your name appearing in LinkedIn’s internal search results.

Think of these keywords as the words that potential clients would use when they search on LinkedIn.

Want more expert ‘Top Tips’ about how to get the most from LinkedIn? Please visit the Creativedge ‘Top 10 Tips’ App and select one or all (!) Top 10 in-apps for ‘Getting the Most out of Your LinkedIn Network’:-