In our February 4, 2014 blog (http://localhost/2014/02/are-you-linkedin-or-lockedout/), we reviewed strategies to construct an effective LinkedIn® Profile, including how to optimize your Professional Headline, Professional Summary, and Skills/Expertise. This month, we offer additional guidance to help you improve your profile and increase the likelihood that prospective employers will find YOU online.
At The Resume Place, we emphasize the importance of “keywords” in building successful FEDERAL RESUMES. Not surprising, constructing an effective LinkedIn® Profile requires a similar attention to “keywords.” We also emphasize the important of formal networks – in addition to person-to-person networking, social media sites (such as LinkedIn®, Facebook®, and Twitter®) provide another opportunity to connect with other professionals and boost your career online. Recruiting and hiring has changed dramatically over the years. We know that recruiters “comb” social media sites to learn who is looking for jobs. Take the steps to optimize your profile so that potential employers can find you when they are seeking qualified candidates. Consider these additional tips in conjunction with those in our previous blog.
COMPLETE YOUR PROFILE
Complete profiles show up higher in search results than incomplete ones. LinkedIn® reports that those with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive LinkedIn® opportunities! What do you need to be considered 100% profile complete?
- Your profile picture
- Your industry and location
- Your current position and description
- 2 past positions
- Your education information
- At least 3 skills
- At least 50 connections
LinkedIn® members who accept your invitations to connect are known as 1st degree connections. These folks have access to your primary email address listed on your account, so choose them carefully. The best advise is to only connect to those you know and trust. Keep in mind that a complete profile requires at least 50 connections.
Ask for recommendations from at least 3 people. Although not required to “complete” your profile, they are important and we suggest you use them. You won’t be able to do this right away, since only people you are “linked to” can provide recommendations. Consider seeking them from people at all levels – peers, co-workers, supervisors, instructors; this will give an employer a good idea of how well you work with people in all levels of an organization.
TIP: Once you have recommendations, consider updating your SUMMARY to refer to those testimonials. For example, if prior supervisors provided you with LinkedIn® recommendations that address your excellent skills and match your current professional goals, you might update your summary to state: “Acknowledged by management for my program management expertise, implementation of IT solutions, and strategic focus.”
ENHANCE YOUR PROFILE
You can edit your profile by adding certain additional sections. Consider adding relevant professional certifications, organizations, projects, publications, honors and awards, volunteering and causes, languages, etc. These are a great way to enhance and showcase your professional achievements.
EXAMPLE: You might have a significant professional CERTIFICATION or LICENSE – e.g., Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification conferred by the Project Management Institute; mandatory state bar membership or certified legal specialty; or a social work or nursing license. You can add these or other certifications by clicking on “Edit Profile.” A right-hand bar will appear entitled “Recommended for you.” You’ll see a list of potential enhancements, including certifications – just click on the one(s) that interest you and add the information.
Consider affiliating with groups such as your college, industry-specific, or trade organizations related to your field – they may also have substantive discussions of topics of interest to you. You can search groups by keyword, interests, or group name. The Group’s manager may review your request to join in order to make sure you meet membership criteria prior to approval. You can join up to 50 groups.
It is possible to recorder the profile sections via “drag-and-drop.” This gives you another opportunity to highlight the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that make you unique.
TIP: You might consider this if you are a student with little if any relevant experience by listing your education section prior to your experience section. When you add your EDUCATION information, especially if you are a current or recent student, consider adding information about accomplishments (e.g., thesis, papers for which you received accolades, high GPA, relevant coursework, honors and awards).
If you are “quietly looking” for new job opportunities, and don’t want your current employer to know, you can turn off your “activity broadcasts” in your privacy control lettings. When activity broadcasts are “on,” your “Connections” are notified when you change your profile, follow a company, etc.
PROMOTING YOUR PROFILE
Now that you’ve created your profile, how to you promote your public profile (the streamlined version of your profile)? In our earlier LinkedIn® blog, we showed you one way you can do so – create a personal URL. There are 2 additional ways to make your public profile visible to people who aren’t signed into LinkedIn®. Instructions for creating these options are available via the LinkedIn® Help Center.
- Add a LinkedIn® “View My Profile” button (called a “badge”) to your online resume, blog, or website.
- Create an email signature that contains your public profile URL. It displays your contact information and a link to your profile that you can integrate into email programs that support HTML email signatures.
Remember, the goal is for the right entities to find you and recognize the great skill set that you will bring to their organizations.
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