6 Things You Can Do To Help Your Job Search On LinkedIn
I’m always surprised at the number of people who contact me who aren’t on LinkedIn and have no plans to join or use it. In today’s age of technology, there is no reason why any professional or executive shouldn’t be on LinkedIn. This is especially critical for those professionals and executives whose careers touch upon technology in some way, which is to say most people.
Not being on LinkedIn is akin to a resume writer who is still using a typewriter to develop career documents! Or the job seeker who uses the Yellow Pages of a phone book. Social media isn’t going away nor is advanced technology.
It’s free to sign up and have an account on LinkedIn. (You can always upgrade to a paid subscription, or even try the premium level for a free 30-day trial period if you choose.) Either way, it’s a great way to professionally establish and maintain a “digital footprint”. It’s easy to use and LinkedIn offers a terrific Help section.
What You Need To Do
Post a professional quality headshot of yourself, ideally with a nondescript background so that the focus is on you. You should look friendly and engaging. If you need ideas, explore LinkedIn and take a good look at different people’s photos and profiles. Would you want to meet with someone who appears grouchy, unhappy or just unprofessional? Probably not. Just as important, not having any picture can really work against you. So, this simple step is critical.
Create a tagline (include your job title or role that you’re qualified for) along with some concise, compelling descriptors. You only have 120 characters to use so it needs to be short and sweet! Here is an example:
GE Certified Six Sigma Black Belt Quality Manager – driving operational excellence by maximizing production efficiencies
Develop a summary that is written in first person and contains highlights of your skills and accomplishments. Remember the rule of thumb that past performance is a good indicator of future results? Well, it’s true.
Complete the experience, education and any other relevant sections that apply to you. The more robust your profile, the better the odds that you will stand out. LinkedIn has an indicator on the right hand side that will show how complete your profile is when you are in edit mode. You want to reach “All-star”.
Be sure to use relevant keywords throughout your profile, but don’t overdo it since you want your content to flow nicely and appeal to the reader. Don’t copy and paste your resume into the pertinent sections of LinkedIn! Not only does it annoy the reader, but it potentially leaves a negative impression. LinkedIn isn’t your resume and your resume isn’t your LinkedIn profile, so why would you use the exact same content for both?
Continue to build your connections. At least 500 represents a healthy number from a networking and visibility perspective. A word of caution though, connect only with people you feel are appropriate in your network. I’m not an advocate of building connections just for the sake of having a zillion contacts. Quality still matters.
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