Making Your LinkedIn Profile Work for You

Posted by Trudy Richards on 10/18/2013


Many people say that when looking for a job, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. LinkedIn, with over 225 million users as of June 2013, is a great place to use social media for professional networking. With so many prospective employers viewing LinkedIn profiles when making decisions about who to interview and hire, it’s important that you have a strong, active profile. And with LinkedIn’s recent release of an educational networking system, building a good profile is important not only to job seekers, but also to those who are looking at colleges.

Here are five good tips to make your LinkedIn profile great:

  • Good photo Research shows that many prospective employers skip over profiles that don’t have a photo. Make sure that yours shows you in the best possible light. The background should be simple, you should have good lighting, and it should be a shoulders-up headshot.
  • Good grammar Nothing turns recruiters off more that typos, incorrect punctuation, or inconsistent formatting. Be sure to proofread your text and have a friend read it as well. Your profile is basically your online resume, so you want it to be of high quality.
  • Good info One great thing about LinkedIn is that you don’t have the space constraints of a paper resume. This means that you can include as much job history as you’d like. Be sure to feature jobs that showcase your talents and suit the industry you want to enter. You can also include internships or volunteer experience that has helped to shape your career. Update your profile consistently as your talents grow or change.
  • Good keywords Many recruiters use specific search terms to narrow down the applicant pool. Make sure that you’re using the same lingo. One idea is to use a word cloud site like Wordle to find likely keywords in job descriptions you’re interested in. Then use these keywords in your profile text to give you a better chance of being found in searches.
  • Good connections The larger your network, the greater your chances of connecting with someone who can help your career. Build your network by using LinkedIn’s tools to connect with people you already know and then begin connecting to friends of friends. Another option is joining LinkedIn groups relevant to your goals, many of which have recruiters as members. One last tip is to make sure that your profile is set to public if you want to build your network.

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