I recently attended a talk about LinkedIn and it was a great way to see how to improve, or create, your profile. It is very important to keep your profile up-to-date, just like your resume. Those who went received LinkedIn Quick Tips, which I will share with you. The main things to focus on are your: photo, summary, skills & expertise, education, recommendations, connections, groups and the overall appearance.
- Photo: Your photo should be a professional headshot. A profile with a photo is 7 times more likely to be viewed!
- Summary: This is your “Elevator Speech.” You should include what you’re seeking (job, internship etc.) as well as your standing in school, what you’ve accomplished and/or how you can benefit an employer. You should be creative, confident, and concise, while conveying a friendly demeanor. Try to take what you do and make it a professional message!
- Skills & Expertise: These can be technical or soft skills. They allow others to endorse your unique skill set. List up to 50!
- Education: Include name and location of your college(s), degree(s) obtained, minors, certificates, specific courses, and relevant projects.
- Recommendations: Write recommendations for peers, colleagues, and mentors, and invite them to return the favor. Make it easy by giving them an idea of what to write about. (Ex. Feel free to discuss my ability to handle stressful situations or engage an audience while presenting.)
- Connections: Personalize your invitation. Avoid the generic auto-invite and mention how you know them, as well as why you’d like to connect.
- Groups: You can join up to 50 Groups on LinkedIn, so connect to networks that align with your interests, skills, and abilities. Once you’ve joined, make sure that you contribute to conversations—you never know who could be watching!
- Overall: It’s in your best interest to make your profile “keyword-rich,” for some examples you may visit wordle.net to find some of these keywords. Figure out what keywords are used in your industry and be aware of common verbiage found in job descriptions for jobs you may be interested in. Spend about 15 minutes or so, each day on LinkedIn. Search for connections, improve your profile, write recommendations, and contribute to groups regularly if you want to get noticed.
Keep in mind that you are trying to tailor your profile to only what you are trying to apply for. The more specific your words are in your file, the more likely you will be on the top or first page of a search. Another site to take a look at is http://inmaps.linkedinlabs.com, because this can show you who you are connected to. The saying; it’s not what you know, but who you know, couldn’t be more true. The more people you are connected with and know you, the more likely it is to be a top contender in your industry. All-in-all, LinkedIn is a great, professional networking sight. It may help you land an interview and/or job. Good luck to all of you and I hope this helps you land your dream job!
Mary Beth Skaja
Image Cited: http://www.socialquickstarter.com/content/18-introduction_to_linkedin