With over 120 million members (and growing), LinkedIn is by far the leader in business networking websites; it has become the Facebook of the business world. You know that recruiters use LinkedIn, so you’ve signed up and now you’re stuck. What information do you include? How do you make the most of your marketing/branding/social media effort?
It is one thing to have a profile set up and add a few connections, but if you haven’t done anything beyond that, then you aren’t really “on” LinkedIn. If you’re career-minded and involved in a current job search, then having an online presence is essential. I have read and enthusiastically recommend Jason Alba’s book, “I’m on LinkedIn, Now What??? A Guide to Getting the Most Out of LinkedIn” for anyone that wants to maximize the site’s usefulness.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Put your best foot forward with a professional photo, preferably a head shot in business attire. Nothing weird here. No candid shots of you with a half-empty glass in your hand and your arm around a scantily clad friend. Think about how you want to be perceived by an employer or potential customer. Everything on your LinkedIn profile should be professional and on brand.
You’ll want to join industry groups and participate in discussions to raise your profile among recruiters, professional colleagues and potential hiring managers. You also want to make and receive recommendations to establish credibility for your expertise and allow recruiters to research who you are, what you have to offer and verify your work history and education.
If you want some professional guidance to get you up to speed quickly on the site’s functionality, note that I conduct very affordable LinkedIn webinars once a month or so. You can find pricing information and sign up using the “Store” tab on my website. I also create LinkedIn profiles for many of my clients who don’t have the time, inclination or marketing expertise to create their own.
LinkedIn profiles generally rank high on search results, so you’ll be easy to find when someone is looking for you online. You can land faster, easier and better in a new position by knowing how to use the simple tools that the free version of LinkedIn offers!
Ellie Vargo, MRW, CCMC