by Craig S, ResumeEdge Certified Writer
LinkedIn®, a powerful web portal, can help you find work, gain positive exposure, make essential contacts, and perhaps scramble up the career ladder even quicker. If you utilize it correctly, you are essentially presenting your resume and business card to 200 million people, including executives from every Fortune 500 company. Very impressive. Even better, LinkedIn adds one million new users every 12 days.
Currently, 75% of Fortune 500 companies use LinkedIn for recruiting. An estimated 1 in 6 professionals successfully used social networks to get jobs, notes Caroline Lau of Social-Hire.com. “Recruiters are using LinkedIn heavily now. You need to be professional—and findable!” says career coach Kimberly Schneiderman, founder of Career City Services.
LinkedIn is where professionals gather to exchange business information, to network, and share connections. It’s your global village. Participate in a discussion, post updates, join a group, scope out colleagues, or research company profiles. It’s the 21st century cracker barrel or water cooler.
Stand Out From the Crowd
- Update Your Photo: If you include a professional head shot on LinkedIn®, your profile is 7 times more likely to be reviewed.
- Seed Your Header and Summary with key words and phrases for LinkedIn®’s search engine. Your header’s “elevator speech,” should include several core skills along with your enhanced title.
- Set up a Vanity URL: Instead of meaningless numbers in your profile address, go here to customize your public profile URL. Make your public profile visible to everyone.
- Use the New LI Rich Media App: LinkedIn Apps are being replaced by a new feature that allows you to add work samples—links or uploads that include images, projects, publications, presentations, videos, or documents. You will also be able to add test scores, courses, patents, certifications, volunteering, causes, honors, and awards. Rich Media is gradually being released to all members.
Shine up Your Summary
The Summary section offers the opportunity to introduce yourself in a professional yet personable manner. Use first-person narrative to describe your accomplishments, skills, and talents. Keep your Summary fresh with updates.
Don’t brag, but don’t sell yourself short, either. Blend your personality with bottom line benefits to potential employers. Describe both hard and soft skills. Most importantly, define how you’ve made an impact by quantifying career results.
“Your Summary is your cover letter to the world. What are your strengths? Why are you a company’s dream employee? How can you help the people who view your profile? Why should someone do business with you?” asks Caroline Hatchett of Wax.com. Her PDF “20 Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn Presence” is an excellent resource.
Polish Your Profile
“Just like with romantic relationships, workouts, and savings accounts, you get out of LinkedIn what you put into it. If you leave your profile relatively undeveloped, you’re not using the site to its full potential,” says Amy Levin-Epstein of CBS “Moneywatch.”
Even though LinkedIn provides a premiere audience, 48% of all profiles are incomplete. Fill out everything you can, refreshing often. LinkedIn is different from resumes, where hobbies, interests, and even volunteer activities and social memberships are usually omitted. Strive for 100% Profile Strength.
- WELCOME INVITES: Expand your circles and join multiple networks by accepting invitations.
- UPDATE FREQUENTLY: Stay visible with profile tweaks. Every update is shared with networks.
- REARRANGE: Reorder profile sections to ensure priority information gets viewed first.
- ENHANCE JOB DESCRIPTIONS: Don’t simply list tasks or duties. Include accomplishments. Proven contributions. Results!
- BE A GROUPIE: Groups put you in touch with like-minded connections to grow your network.
- ENDORSE/BE ENDORSED: It’s easy to endorse skills and expertise. Many will return the favor.
- SKILLS & EXPERTISE: Showcase special talents for recruiters. Use this search for popular terms.
- RECOMMENDATIONS: What others say about you is powerful. Approach and ask colleagues.
- HIRE A PRO: Like resumes, LinkedIn profile development is an art and science. Consider a pro to craft one for you.
Why You Should Care About LinkedIn
Wired Magazine reported in April about a best-kept LinkedIn secret: LinkedIn Recruiter. According to writer Alexandra Chang, it’s LinkedIn’s flagship product and the “core of the professional social network’s Talent Solutions” that spiked $161 million last quarter.
Recruiter is invisible to all users, except for “companies that pay LinkedIn as a candidate sourcing and hiring tool,” says Chang. More than 16,000 companies or clients use Recruiter from global corporations to businesses and recruiters of all sizes. They can see all your information, search for skills sets, and build a dossier on people they are watching.
“Let that sink in for a moment. If you care a whit about your career, not only do you have to be on LinkedIn, you should have a detailed profile with your job history,” adds Chang. “It should look like your resume. Taking advantage of LinkedIn features like Skills can also make you more searchable to recruiters. And of course, build out your network with people you know.”
Whether you’re reentering the work force after a long absence, transitioning to a new career, or making your mark in your chosen industry, the certified writers at ResumeEdge can help. We specialize in resume editing, resume writing, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles,. Our writers are skilled in 40+ industries and have decades of experience.