This week I’m talking about building or enhancing a LinkedIn profile for those looking for a job.I was talking with a friend who lost his job after being with the same company for over 25 years. I have another friend in the same situation and although they’ve been talking to outplacement counselors, they still have questions about LinkedIn and social media in general. They are doing the right things; talking and networking with many contacts, recreating resumes and spiffing up their LinkedIn profiles.
Here are a few tips for getting your LinkedIn profile up to speed:
1. Use the suggestions in the LinkedIn ‘wizard’ to build your profile. Look carefully for all of the ‘edit’ buttons and use them to fill as much information in as possible.
- make sure you utilize the personalization for your public profile if you don’t change this, your name will show up with numbers or characters after it – not professional. Most corporate people won’t have a website, blog or Twitter account, so don’t worry about those sections.
2. For people looking for a new position, use the resume builder to import your resume first – completing your profile will go much faster.
3. Do fill out the Summary field – it’s prominent real estate where you should list your accomplishments, background and experience.
4. Join some Groups and get active in them. You’ll see the Groups button near the top of each screen. Hover over it and you’ll have a choice of ‘Your Groups’, ‘Groups You May Like’, ‘Groups Directory’ and ‘Create A Group’. If you’ve already filled out your profile, LinkedIn will give you groups you may potentially be interested in based on your resume and experience. Otherwise, click on the ‘Groups Directory’ and you can enter in search terms to see what’s out there. Try to get involved with a couple of groups in an area you’re looking to be employed in and participate or start discussions.
5. Now’s the time to set up a professional email address if you don’t have one. This is not the place to have ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ .
6. Once your profile is completed, LinkedIn will show you people you might know, based upon your employment history. Connect to everyone you know. If you’ve worked with someone, you don’t have to know their email address (saves time and effort).
7. There’s a LinkedIn ‘Learning Center’ that will help you get up to speed on how to use LinkedIn.
8. If you have a collection of contacts, use the export feature and export to Outlook, Yahoo or Apple contacts and then import into your contacts to have them at your fingertips.
9. Ask for recommendations from your peer group as well as higher ranking officers/directors and former subordinates.
10. Upload a picture – it should be a head shot of good quality.
11. LinkedIn has a ‘what are you doing’ box, like Facebook does. This is where you could post links to articles you think would be of interest to your connections, perhaps time management tips, stories about your industry. Most LinkedIn postings I see are very business-oriented and focused. Save your personal thoughts for posting over at Facebook.
Remember, every time you accept a connection request, post a link, join a group or say something within a group, that’s traffic for you. Whenever one of these activities occurs, it’s fed into the news stream where your connections and even connections of your connections will see your name. More eyeballs on your name and profile is what you want.
I hope these tips will motivate you to make some positive changes to your LinkedIn account to get noticed.