As a recruiter, if I’m not talking to clients and candidates on the phone, I’m looking for them on LinkedIn.
If you don’t already know, LinkedIn is an electronic database where people keep their own personal business information up to date, (almost like a resume but not as detailed.) If you are in the job market or just open to new business opportunities it is especially important to have a well written LinkedIn profile. The best thing about LinkedIn is that everyone is on it, (not just job seekers) and its free to set up. Job Seekers can use it to research a company before an interview to find out if you have any friends or business associates working there. Hiring managers will often look up candidates before bringing them on an interview so they see how they present themselves online.
There are a few rules of thumb when creating a Linkedin profile…
1. Have a professional profile picture
Since basically everyone has a picture on their LinkedIn profile, you really should make sure that you have one too-that is if the picture is appropriate and businesslike. I’ve seen photos of comic strip characters, people’s dogs, family photos, and photos that probably belong on a dating website. In my opinion, these belong on Facebook, not LinkedIn. Does you potential boss really need to see how you kids or pets are doing? Didn’t think so. I recommend that, if possible, job seekers spend a few extra dollars and have a professional photographer take their profile picture. And make sure you wear business attire.
2. Your LinkedIn profile is not a resume
Your Linkedin profile should be a summary of your work experience and have all of your contact info. It should not be word-for-word, your professional resume. Hiring managers already have your resume, they’re looking to see another side of you on Linkedin.
3. Let people get in contact with you
If you’re looking for an opportunity, you’ll want hiring managers and recruiters to be able to contact you, right? Take the time to make sure its easy for someone to contact you. Include your email, cell phone number, and any business related blog or website you may have.
4. Add skills tags
In the skills section of your profile, make sure you put in “key words” to describe your business skills. This will make it easier for companies and recruiters to find you when a great job opens up. When they search for certain skills, your LinkedIn profile will come up and they’ll be able to read about you and send an email or give you a call.
Lastly, make sure you present yourself on LinkedIn the way you’d want to present yourself to your future boss or someone that can give you a job. Keep it professional and simple. Don’t include lofty titles to describe yourself from using “visionary” or “jack of all trades” or attempts at humor with titles like “CEO of the House” which is not what you the person in charge of hiring you to think.
Best of luck with Linkedin. That was just the basics, I’ll do another post soon and give examples and more tips. If you want immediate help with creating a professional LinkedIn profile go to http://www.hire-worthy.com and ask for Susan.