Using LinkedIn To The Fullest Extent

I talk to recruiters regularly in my role for the IIA employment committee.  They all speak very highly of LinkedIn.  They find good candidates, get to know them and approach them with job opportunities that are geared towards the right candidates.  To a recruiter this is extremely helpful in mining the right candidates for a job rather than just blindly posting a job and being pounded with hundreds of unqualified applicants.  

How can you use this information to help you?

A LinkedIn Profile is NOT your resume

What used to work doesn't anymore.  A resume was your sales brochure summarizing your "features and benefits", listing out your skills, experience and education.  Not only is that out-of-date, it doesn't work for LinkedIn.  

What should you have?

  • A nice professional photo with a simple background.  No other people, kids, significant others or anything else that doesn't present you in the best professional light.
  • A professional heading that should describe who you are.  Be descriptive and not just the title from your last job or the fact that you're unemployed.  Use professional keywords.
  • A Summary which describes the professional "you".  Use keywords here again in conversational paragraphs and not a billeted list of responsibilities.  
  • A Skills section filled with keywords.  You can choose 50.  Anything less your shorting yourself.
  • Anything else that may be of interest.  A professional blog or public presentations via SlideShare.

Be Active

Once you've set up your profile, don't forget about it.  Actively engage in updating it, adding new insights and sharing, professionally, any insights and updates that your connections and others who view your profile might be interested in.  Remember this is a social professional network. Just by posting a minimal profile is not going to have the offers rolling in.  LinkedIn doesn't work that way.  

What should you do?

  • Get connected!!  The more connections you have the greater your visibility.  Try to add 20 connections a month, at least.  
  • Groups can be very important to helping others know who you are and what you think. They're online meet and greets. Treat them as such.  Be active and insightful.  Join those groups that have meaning to your current and future profession.  You're allowed 50 Groups - go find 20 that are valuable to you.  
  • Keep those updates coming.  Post something intelligent at least once a week.  Get your connections interested in you and what you have to say.