Making LinkedIn Work for You

Your LinkedIn profile is often the first time a recruiter or hiring manager will lay eyes on you.  Are you providing the best first impression?

Recently, I presented “How to Get Your LinkedIn Profile Noticed by a Recruiter” to Ron Visconti and the Phase 2 Careers Group (www.phase2careers.org/index.html). The response was great so I wanted to share some highlights.

When you create or update your best LinkedIn profile, consider the following.

1. Post a current, professional, picture of yourself.  Two common profile picture mistakes:

  • Picture is outdated: Your high school yearbook photo is great for Facebook, but for LinkedIn it’s important that the photo resemble what you currently look like.
  • Unprofessional setting: You don’t need a professional head shot, but you do need to look like the kind of person a recruiter would recommend to hire. Avoid anything where you’re at a club with a red Solo Cup in hand

2. Use your full name.  LinkedIn isn’t the place for a social media alias.

3. Have a strong headline. People often restrict their headlines to their current position.  A headline can be an effective marketing tool.  What end product does a company get when they work with you? What can they expect if they hire you? Let your headline answer these questions

4. List all your current and relevant work experience. If you are not actively employed, feel free to list volunteer positions or other pertinent activities.

5. Connections are key. The more people you are connected to, the more readily you will come up on searches, which will broaden the jobs that are referred to you.

6. Contact information. Some people leave this out of their LinkedIn profile. I suggest that it be listed. As a job seeker, you want to be as easy to contact as possible.

7. Make your profile public.  Because LinkedIn requires at least a 3rd degree connection to see information, it helps recruiters and hiring managers if you have a public profile.