Job searching has taken a new direction. It's not about going to the job boards, finding the job opening you like, and then applying to it. That method will only have you waiting by the phone for a call that's likely not going to happen. Today's job seekers need to take a more proactive and interactive approach called job networking—and LinkedIn is a resource to help you do it.
When you've created an effective LinkedIn profile, it'll help you get in front of the right contacts (recruiters, hiring managers, professionals in the field, etc.) who can lead you to the path of the next job opportunity. However, in order for it all to happen you do need a LinkedIn profile that communicates and displays the right information. Take a run through the LinkedIn profile checklist below to learn how to use your LinkedIn profile effectively.
The Basics Of An Effective LinkedIn Profile
Make Sure you Have An Appropriate Headline
The Headline is what shows up for your LinkedIn profile when it comes up in search results. It's also what shows up when others look at you through their contacts' connections. By default, your LinkedIn profile headline reads your current job title and employer, but if you want to grab the attention of others it should say more than that. Get tips to improve your LinkedIn profile Headline by reading: "3 Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Headline."
Display Professionalism In Your Profile Photo
A LinkedIn profile that includes a headshot photo is more likely to be clicked on than a profile without a photo. In selecting your profile photo, go with a headshot that presents you professionally and that makes you come off approachable. Get all the tips to selecting an appropriate profile photo by reading: "How Your Avatar Can Impact Your Job Search Plans."
Personalize Your LinkedIn URL
Whether you choose to include your LinkedIn profile to your resume or email signature, personalize the URL. It'll come off more professional and memorable. For ex. www.linkedin.com/yourname or www.linkedin.com/professionalkeyword.
The Important Details In An Effective LinkedIn Profile
Offer Your Value Statement Through The Summary Section
Like the resume, your LinkedIn profile should have a Summary at the top that highlights what it is that you have to offer and how that translates to value for the potential employer. While pronouns like I, me and my are not advised on the resume, on your LinkedIn profile it needs to take on a more conversational tone, so they are okay.
Make Your Work Experience Keyword-Rich
As you describe and highlight accomplishments on the job under Work Experience, think about relevant keywords to include naturally in your writing. The more keyword-rich your profile is, the more likely it'll show up in search results.
Get Endorsed For The Right Skills And Expertise
Review the Skills and Expertise section to prioritize what's important. When you do that, your contacts are more likely to Endorse you for the right skills, which in turn show recruiters and hiring managers you have what they are looking for. What you want to avoid is including Skills and Expertise that doesn't relate to the job or your profession. That will simply dilute your overall message.
Additional Steps For Making An Effective LinkedIn Profile
Don't Let Your Education Give Away Your Age
Your education, which can include specialized training and certifications received adds value to your qualifications. When listing the information, take caution with dates. It's not necessary to indicate when you received your degree from college—that can give away your age in some cases. Also don't include anything that may be too dated. You want to show you hold current skills that are valuable to the profession, not dated skills.
Join Relevant Groups
LinkedIn offers Groups to join in all areas—professional associations, industry groups, alumni groups, etc. If they're relevant to your profession or skills needed for the job, share their badge on your profile. It helps hiring managers and recruiters to see that you're connected and active in networks that are important.
You can also benefit by taking things a step further with Groups like participating in discussions and sharing interesting articles to get your name out there. Many hiring managers and recruiters will look at discussions in relevant groups to pull out potential candidates for job openings they have available.
Make Your Profile Public
LinkedIn profiles that are made public allow others to view your information whether you're connected with them or not. This option is best when you're a job seeker.
No job seeker today should go without a LinkedIn profile and with the checklist above to creating an effective one, you'll see why as opportunities come pouring in. For additional reading about LinkedIn, learn about the 6 Things Recruiters Want To See On Your LinkedIn Profile or see if you're wasting your LinkedIn account.
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