Are you on LinkedIn?

LinkedInWhen I meet new people in a professional setting I often ask if they are on LinkedIn.  They may be a potential client, someone who can add value to my business or a job seeker I’m working with.  LinkedIn is a professional networking site and many companies use this tool as a means of recruiting staff.

When it comes to landing a job, your LinkedIn profile acts as the online version of your resume.  I’m going to share with you eight ways to build up your profile so you get noticed by potential employers.

  1. Before you update your profile, I suggest turning off your activity broadcasts which is explained here. Whatever changes you make to your profile won’t be announced to your connections and once you have finished, you can turn the broadcasts back on and start sharing articles and commenting on other people’s news updates.
  2. Add a professional looking photograph of yourself which will set the tone for your online resume. Avoid holiday or party shots, but at the same time choose a photo where you are looking relaxed.
  3. Stand out with your Headline. This is located beneath your name and you can either have your most recent job title or you can use 120 characters to create an eye catching statement about yourself.  You can write a sentence or shorter words that tell the reader your role or expertise.  Eg. “Finance & Accounting Professional | CPA | Strategic Leader”
  4. Add a Summary which includes key words about your current role (or one you are aspiring to), skills, strengths, industry and how you add value to an organisation. It can be written in the first person as it’s about YOU.  Try to keep it sincere rather than filling it with buzz words that everyone else is using.
  5. Experience – Showcase your achievements for each role and keep them concise.  You may wish to bullet point a list of three to five key accomplishments. I find the asterix (*) for bullets is better visually than the dash (-).  Remember to check that the dates align with your resume and only list jobs as far back as is relevant, typically the last 10 years.
  6. Add Education, Courses/Certifications and Volunteer Experience so that they marry up with what is listed in your resume.
  7. In the Endorsements section, be sure to list the relevant skills that you want to be regarded for. Your connections will begin to endorse your skills through this built-in feature of LinkedIn and you will be asked to “pay it forward” to your own connections.
  8. Seek at least one Recommendation from customers, colleagues or managers for each of your jobs. These are similar to a reference in the hiring process and can add some weight when being considering for a role.

Get Active in your Job Search

When your profile has been perfected, turn your activity feed back on and start inviting people you know to connect with you. Join LinkedIn groups related to your career or interests and take part in discussions. Follow companies that you are targeting for potential work so you can stay updated with their statuses and job postings. Check your LinkedIn feed on a regular basis (daily is good) and participate by clicking Like, Comment or Share on articles of interest.

A smart looking LinkedIn profile will certainly give your search for employment a boost. Are you on LinkedIn?

Connect with Gen today to help build a professional LinkedIn profile.