By Miriam Salpeter, owner of Keppie Careers (www.keppiecareers.com) - job search and social media strategist, career coach, resume writer, author, and speaker.
As the best-known professional online network, LinkedIn is an important tool for job seekers. Used well, it helps job seekers and anyone who wants to highlight their expertise and expand the number of people who know about them and what they offer.
There is a difference between simply having a LinkedIn profile and creating an online presence that could make a difference in your career. Keep the following tips in mind to make the most of your LinkedIn profile.
Create a 100% Complete Profile
One mistake users make is they don’t ensure LinkedIn recognizes their profile as 100% complete. A complete profile is important because recruiters and hiring managers sourcing candidates on LinkedIn are more likely to find people whose profiles are finished. The more often people find you in search, the more likely you are to be considered for opportunities they may be trying to fill.
• Add a profile photo. LinkedIn reports people with photos in their profiles are seven times more likely to have people click through to learn more about them when they come up in search. This is significant, and could make a difference for job seekers.
• List all the jobs or positions you’ve held, along with descriptions of your roles. Use the space to include as many useful details, skills, and accomplishments as possible. Don’t hesitate to include descriptive titles for your jobs. For example, most people are not searching for “Vice President” when they use LinkedIn, but they may search for “Vice President, Learning and Development.” Be as descriptive as possible in your titles.
• Include 5 or more skills on your profile. Add these in the specially designated skills section. You can include as many as 50 skills.
• Write a summary about yourself. Use this opportunity to tell a story about yourself. It’s okay to be a little creative in this section. Write this in the first person (use I, me, and my).
• Fill out your industry and postal code.
• Add where you went to school.
• Connect with 50 or more people. LinkedIn’s research shows having at least 50 connections helps users get the most of the network.
Optimize your Headline
Once your profile is considered complete, write a great headline. The headline is what appears directly under your name; it’s what people will see (along with your photo) when they find you in search.
What can you include there to inspire someone …
Other useful links
- How to Use Facebook to Help You Land a Job
- Why Becoming An Employee Referral Is The Best Way To Get Hired
- How to Guarantee Success at Career Fairs