Making LinkedIn Work for You

ImageMost employees and businesses understand that it’s crucial to have a social media presence, especially in a competitive job market. In 2012, one out of every six job seekers landed a position with the help of social media, and 93 percent of recruiters were utilizing LinkedIn. LinkedIn is no longer just a network where job seekers copy and paste their resumes. Kristi Hines suggests updating your profile regularly to show employers that you’re engaged and the right fit for their company. 

With so much emphasis placed on LinkedIn profiles, and because the network is rapidly expanding, it’s important that you make your page stand out from the crowd. Here are four basic tips for getting your page noticed, and in a good way!

1. Create a headline with keywords that you want to be discovered by

Lewis Howes says your headline should say who you are, who you help, and how you help them

2. Upload a head shot of yourself 

Your profile is seven times more likely to get viewed if you have a photo. Remember that LinkedIn is about professionalism, so don’t post a picture of your baby or dog. According to Libby Kane,  19 percent of recruiters look only at your profile picture on LinkedIn. Are you surprised that so much emphasis is put on the profile picture? Shouldn’t your credentials be more important?

3. Create a summary about yourself

A summary is the place where you can tell companies about your goals, passions and accomplishments. Even though the site is a business tool, the summary section allows you to make a human connection, so you’re not just another job seeker.

4. Make sure previous experience and contact information are up-to-date

You never know what type of experience may attract an employer. Even if a previous job was unrelated to the industry you’re pursuing, a recruiter may have had a similar experience, and will understand the benefits of that experience. If an employer is interested in you, they’ll need to have up-to-date contact information. Link your other social media accounts to your LinkedIn profile so employers can connect with you in multiple places. 

If you want to go beyond the basic steps, add work projects to your page, join industry groups, get endorsements for your skills, and cater your connection requests to the person you want to connect with. I’ve discovered that if you want your connections to endorse your skills, try endorsing their skills. Anytime someone endorses me, I usually go to their page to reciprocate. Endorsements are a great way to showoff your skills. How have you made your LinkedIn page stand out?

With more and more people utilizing LinkedIn, some people believe that the site is a target for hackers and scammers. Viveka von Rosen wrote an article about how to secure your LinkedIn account. While some of Rosen’s tips, like adding all of your emails addresses and scoping out competition anonymously seem helpful, others seem to defeat the purpose of the network. Rosen suggests turning off your broadcast feed and hiding your groups and connections. LinkedIn is a place to network and sell your brand, so why would you want to hide your activities and professional groups? It’s connections and transparency that get you hired, so I think it’s best to forgo Ronsen’s advice.

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2 thoughts on “Making LinkedIn Work for You

  1. Hi Lauren!

    I’m not really that surprised that a great deal of emphasis is put on having the “right” profile picture on LinkedIn. As much as we all hate to admit it, the way someone looks is the first thing that we notice when meeting someone new. A profile photo works in the same way – when you go into an interview, you wear your professional best. It should be the same for when another business professional is “meeting” you via your LinkedIn profile for the first time – your professional best on display. I agree that the content of your profile should speak volumes for your talent and experience, but we definitely cannot forget to include a great (professional) head shot of ourselves.

    • Hi Lacee!

      Great point. I would hate to not be considered for a position based on my profile picture alone and not on my talent!

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