LinkedIn is fast becoming one of the most influential tools in the job search process. Recruiters, employers, and other professionals are using LinkedIn and other social media websites to find and make the connections that will help them grow their careers or businesses. Most applicants get hired by employers within their network, or within their co-worker’s networks. Considering that your professional network is critical to helping you land your next opportunity; your LinkedIn profile is as important to your future success as your resume.
Here are a few key tips to make sure you get the most out of LinkedIn to help find your next job.
Use a Professional Looking Profile Picture
Your LinkedIn profile should include a nice headshot that is recent and professional in appearance. Imagine that profile picture as your first impression with prospective employers. Make sure you can see your eye (no sunglasses), smile, and look ready for an interview. LinkedIn is not the place for a casual picture of you with friends or family. Keep things as professional as possible and you will set yourself on the right track.
Keep Your Resume Up to Date
Your LinkedIn profile is structured similarly to your resume in how it presents your work history and achievements. Make sure that your recent projects and roles are added as they occur and keep your profile as up to date as you would your resume.
Feature Your Education and Achievements
One of the advantages of LinkedIn, when compared to your resume, is that your profile is not restricted to 1 or 2 pages. This leaves more space to feature your education and extracurricular achievements. This is especially true if you are a recent graduate. Take the time to list your courses, your interests, your volunteer projects, and societies you are a member of.
Tailor Your Summary Section
The summary section of your LinkedIn profile is a great opportunity to highlight your five or six biggest achievements. Think of it as comparable to an abbreviated cover letter, explaining your career goals, your most important accomplishments, and your biggest successes. Keep things concise and to the point, in bullet points if possible, and feel free to include links to online portfolios, videos, or other content as appropriate.
Ask for Recommendations
Another interesting aspect of LinkedIn from a job seeker’s perspective is the element of recognition and recommendation from co-workers and employers. Your connections on LinkedIn have the option of recommending you for your various skills and abilities as listed in your profile. They can also leave comment style reviews of their experience working with you. These recommendations are important because just like employers will check your references before hiring you in person, viewers will take LinkedIn recommendations into consideration when reviewing your profile.
Share Relevant Content
Updating your profile status to share industry-relevant content, blogs, videos, and other interesting information can help show viewers (such as recruiters and employers) that you are knowledgeable and focused on the growth of your industry.
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