If you haven’t yet created a LinkedIn® Profile, you’re missing out on a valuable digital tool in your job search process. Social media sites such as LinkedIn® provide great networking opportunity to boost your career and connect with other professionals. A 2012 survey by Jobvite indicated that social recruiting is on the rise – over 90% of surveyed companies used or planned to use this approach when seeking qualified candidates. So, take advantage of this trend by optimizing your Profile! The Resume Place has experts who are skilled in helping you do so.
Let’s review a few of the effective strategies to constructing an effective LinkedIn® Profile.
- MATCH YOUR PROFILE TO YOUR RESUME! It is essential that your online presence is consistent. Make sure that your Profile and resume “align.”
- PHOTO: Add an appropriate, professional headshot to your Profile. Use a photo that projects the image appropriate to the market.
- PROFESSIONAL HEADLINE: The first thing about you (other than your photo) that most people will see is your “headline,” so make sure that it is descriptive and clearly represents what you do. Incorporate all the titles that a perspective employer is likely to search – use keywords. LinkedIn® automatically transfers your current position to your professional headline, but you can edit it. So, instead of “Graduate Student,” you can edit your headline to read: “Recent Program Management Graduate, specializing in Information Security. Interested in career opportunities with government contractors.”
- PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY: The “summary” contains your work history – it’s the section where you can add the most content to your Profile. Remember that your “successes” are more important than your “job description,” so focus on your career accomplishments. Distinguish yourself by what it unique about you. To optimize your summary for search purposes, filter “keywords” throughout this section that you want to be searched. It’s likely that more perspective employers will find you through the keywords you use than by typing in your name! And, only include relevant employment – if you are interested in program management positions, don’t mention of your work as a retail salesperson during school.
- SKILLS AND EXPERTISE: You can add up to 50 skills to your Profile. This section is extremely important to your LinkedIn® Profile. Recruiters often search for a specific set of skills as opposed to a specific job title. Those skills for which you receive the most endorsements (see below) will be listed first.
- ENDORSEMENTS: People who are connected via LinkedIn® can “endorse” your skills. As you receive more endorsements for specific skills, it increases the likelihood that you’ll come up in the search results when someone is searching that skill. For example: Our President/Founder, Kathryn Troutman, has “99+” connections (that’s the highest number you can receive) who endorsed her for “Resume Writing,” “Career Development, “Career Counseling,” “Interviews,” “Job Coaching,” “Training, and “Job Search.” Wow! So when someone searches for people with those skills, it is likely that Kathryn will come up somewhere on the first few pages of the search results.
- NAME RECOGNITION: It’s helpful to customize your URL by personalizing it. Place your name in your URL, e.g., http://linkedin.com/in/firstnamelastname. If someone else has the same name, consider adding your middle initial or some other character.
- SETTINGS: Adjust your public profile “settings” to select which sections are visible on your public Profile. We recommend having the summary, current position, education, and skills sections visible.
- KEEP UPDATING your profile as you update your resume! Add your latest accomplishments and projects. It’s fine to brag about your achievements if you are truthful.
Today’s blog focused some of the highlights associated with building your Profile. In the future, we will discuss other LinkedIn® tips. So, make sure you are LinkedIn® and not LockedOut!
Ellen Lazarus is a Resume Place Certified Federal Job Search Trainer, Federal Resume Writer, and Career Coach. As a former Legislative Branch senior executive and bar association leader, Ellen has a keen understanding of the networking process. She often assists clients in utilizing social media sites to further their careers. If you need help creating or updating your LinkedIn® profile, contact us for an absolutely free estimate. The Resume Place may offer special rates when you combine LinkedIn® profile writing with the purchase of other services.
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