LinkedIn can be an excellent venue for promoting yourself as a job candidate. It’s a highly powerful conduit for getting your name – and your experience, skills and education – out there to prospective employers and to your peers.
With more than 8.5 million professionals in 130 industries – including all 500 of the Fortune 500 companies – represented, LinkedIn can be a valuable tool for making contacts, networking and developing business relationships for the long term. Your profile works like an online resume, with the added benefit of connections to your blog, website, videos and other resources.
From a professional standpoint, it’s a good idea to be LinkedIn, but it needs to be done right and it needs to be just that – professional.
A Professional Snapshot of You
When creating your profile, keep in mind that nearly half of LinkedIn members are decision makers at their companies. They’re people you want to impress. And the old saying really does hold true: First impressions matter! As you paint your own LinkedIn self-portrait, keep these tips in mind:
- Members will use the LinkedIn search feature to find the people they’re looking for. So use key phrases, starting with the one or two words that you want to be known by, for instance, “business analysis expert” or “experienced risk manager.”
- Use short, catchy sentences and paragraphs. Make sure they are well written and typo free. Throughout your profile, your goal is to keep the reader engaged.
- Don’t include any information that you wouldn’t want made public. There’s no such thing as “off the record” when it comes to LinkedIn.
- When writing your title and summary or describing your experience, education and additional information, include only what’s pertinent to your current career goal. A steady job history is a plus, but prospective employers probably don’t need to know what an awesome job you did working that summer job when you were 15. (Unless you’re 16, of course!)
- A photo helps solidify your profile, so make it a good one. Model your photo after those in established business periodicals and magazines. Dress professionally and avoid looking dated, fatigued or frumpy. And please, save those beach vacation shots and close-ups with the family pets for Facebook.
Make It Work for You
Clearly, LinkedIn can be a critical component in your career tool kit. Forbes recently called LinkedIn “the most advantageous social networking tool available to job seekers and business professionals today.” Building the best, most effective tools – including LinkedIn – may seem daunting, but it’s well worth the return on investment. To learn more, contact Select Group and let our recruiting experts be your guide!