It’s strange to think that the Internet didn’t even exist a few decades ago, especially considering how essential it is in daily life. Today it seems almost impossible to find a person who doesn’t have some type of social media account to help keep them connected. Given this, it should be no surprise that one of the most helpful tools in landing a job is a form of social media.
Founded in December of 2002, LinkedIn has become the premier place for people young and old to connect with other professionals in their career field. Many employers use LinkedIn to help with recruiting purposes as well.
If you are recent college grads especially, you know the importance of networking to snag the job of your dreams; LinkedIn offers you a place to do just that.
Your LinkedIn profile will create the first impression that a potential employer has of you, so you want to be sure you are presenting yourself in the right light.
The first thing you want to do is brand yourself. While the thought of doing this may seem daunting, sit down and think about who you are—what your goals are, what qualities and skills you can offer in the workplace—then take those ideas and turn them into one catchy sentence that you feel conveys the essence of who you are. This may take some time, but establishing your brand will help you find direction as you create your profile.
Creating a profile that is visually appealing is a must. To give the best first impression, you should have a professional photograph taken for use in your profile picture. While you may love your dog, your significant other, or your best friend, save the pictures of you with anyone else for Facebook and Instagram—a potential employer wants to see a shot of you looking professional.
When you get to the portions of your profile that call for information about current and past experience, make sure you include links. No amount of prose, no matter how beautifully written, can compete with an actual example of your work. Include more than one link if possible—this will not only create a profile that is visually appealing, but give a potential employer a way to interact with your profile and keep them interested.
The summary on your profile is the first place a potential employer will be able to read about you—make sure the sentences flow and no words are misspelled. Choose four or five of your top accomplishments and talk about them here—now is the time to sell yourself and let a potential employer know how amazing you are. Be professional in your writing, but also let your personality come through to give it some flare.
While a paper resume limits you to one page, your LinkedIn profile gives you ample space to talk about your previous jobs—use it! Be as specific as possible in your descriptions, and make sure that you phrase the content in a way that is appealing and lets a potential employer know that you will be a valuable member of their team. To keep your profile easy to read, don’t let paragraphs be more than three sentences each, and use bullet points to list important information.
Make sure you fill in every portion of your profile—completed profiles are known to rank higher on a search. Also, an incomplete profile will look unprofessional.
The whole purpose of a LinkedIn profile is to allow you a place to network—take advantage of that. Connect with your friends, family members, coworkers, and even acquaintances. When sending a request to someone you don’t know well, it’s courteous to include a personal note along with it reminding them of your connection.
Connect with groups that share the same interests as you, but make sure they are all related to your desired career. Follow news entities and share articles that pertain to your field of interest. This lets a potential employer see that you have a genuine interest in the kind of job you are after.
When your profile is complete, make sure you customize your URL, then include it on everything—business cards, email signatures, blog posts. Get your name out there, and make sure people know where they can find you for future communication, and also to see what you are all about.
Creating a LinkedIn profile that will set you apart from everyone else takes time and effort, but will pay off tenfold when you snag your dream job. Now that you know what to do to make your profile stand out, it’s time to put it in action!
Garret Crosby is a freelance writer for multiple online publications. He has recently worked with ROI Call Center Solutions. Garret is committed to learning about innovative methods that will help people to progress in their careers. When he is not busy writing, Garret loves to be outdoors, and he loves to be with friends.
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