Some pundits are saying the worst is over for the economy. Others aren’t so sure. One thing is certain, if you are looking for a job, it’s still dog eat dog (with apologies to Buddy, my dog).
One of the tools that most job-hunters don’t utilize fully is LinkedIn, which should be one of the first tools they use. At Professional Mojo, we routinely create full marketing and recruiting campaigns for our business clients around the use of LinkedIn, and it’s a great tool for an individual, as well.
5 Fast Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
Be strategic about your pic and your tagline: Get a profile pic if you don’t have one and I don’t mean one of you at the last football game. It should allow the viewer to see who you are. Then, add your strategic tagline. For example, it’s useless to put “Sales Professional at XYZ Company”. A better use of that space would be: Industrial paint sales pro improves revenue and margins. 678-555-1212
You may only get a set of eyes for 10 seconds, so make that tagline current, clear and creative.
Ensure your profile is 100%: This includes current and past positions, education, honors, awards, and a link to your professional resume online (yes, online) in the Website area. If you don’t have those, you should. LinkedIn has a handy-dandy percentage complete bar on the right side. It’s there for a reason! Do what it says and you’ll have a better, more searchable profile, but stay targeted. You cannot be all things to all people and, frankly, you’ll look a little discombobulated if you are not focused and targeted in what you say.
Add sections and leverage them: Add sections, such as Skill Sets and Certifications, and leverage them by stuffing them full of meaningful words that are relevant to your industry/job function/desired position. These sections are searchable and will improve your ability to be found when recruiters search LinkedIn (and they will). Another great section to add is http://www.behance.net, which allows you to create a nice looking online portfolio of your work or to show, visually, the results you’ve achieved.
Link to your online contributions: Be sure to pull your blog posts or videos into your profile. If you look at my profile and connect with me (and you are welcome to do that–> http://www.linkedin.com/in/leebrogdenculberson) you’ll see that our blog, Twitter account and a myriad of videos are all part of my profile. Are you a real thought leader in your area? If so, you should be publishing articles and putting them on LinkedIn.
Finally, provide value-added status updates: There is nothing worse than a LinkedIn stream filled with useless information. Take time to scour a few reputable news and business sites (that pertains to YOUR desired industry) and share articles that your likely target companies and decision makers would find helpful and interesting. If you are not providing value on your profile, no one will want to connect with you and will hide your stream. Trust me, I do it all the time.
LinkedIn continues to grow, but requires a real strategy and some TLC. Get a grip on your personal brand, learn how to say it in 140 characters or less and then create a robust, dynamic profile that adds value. In the meantime, I look forward to connecting with you online! Good luck!