LinkedIn, the leading professional network on the web, is an indispensable resource for job seekers and professionals. Besides offering unique networking opportunities with professionals from all industries, a LinkedIn profile can help to offset any negative content about you online. LinkedIn has currently more than 100 million users, and its members comprise 170 different industries, and include 130,000 recruiters who use the network to search for potential candidates on a daily basis. Furthermore, all Fortune 500 companies are represented on LinkedIn, so it is a powerful tool that can be leveraged to help you in your job search. Here are some tips on how to build a strong online presence on LinkedIn.
6 Tips for LinkedIn
Your Profile Picture
Your public picture is the first thing people will notice on your profile. Faces are often easier to remember than names, so adding a picture will help others identify you when adding you as a connection on LinkedIn. A clear, up-to-date, professional-looking headshot of you with a clear background is a great way to make a good first impression.
Write a Summary
The summary provides you with an opportunity to show who you are and what you do. Be as concise and specific as possible, but also use it as a tool to engage with people and draw in their attention. Don’t forget to include a catchy headline!
Fill Out the Bio
One of the reasons why LinkedIn is a popular tool among recruiters is that users have to be honest in their Bios, as most of them have previous employers and colleagues in their LinkedIn network. Any lies and exaggerations are easy to catch. Just like in your regular resume, accentuate your strengths and highlights, while providing context around your job responsibilities.
Optimize Your Profile
To get the most out of your LinkedIn resume, you need to include keywords and skills from your resume in your profile. LinkedIn has the ability to search any word in the content, and if you list all relevant keywords at the bottom of the page, it will make it easier for your profile to be found in search results.
One of the unique features of LinkedIn is the recommendation section, which gives potential employers the opportunity to read a reference in advance. People with strong references have better chances to be selected for an interview or for a job. Avoid exchanging meaningless recommendations with your friends, and rather focus on quality recommendations from people who have benefited from your work. Ask for benefits and results driven recommendations from people who’ve seen you in action and the best way to get recommendations is to give them, so take the time to write recommendations for some of your contacts, and hopefully they will reciprocate.
Build Your Network Before You Need It
Whether you are currently in search of a job or are just browsing the job market for new career opportunities, having a strong network can be a good form of job security. Don’t wait until it gets rough to build your network! In most cases it is much easier to build a relationship with someone you already know than with someone you just met. Also, keep in mind that networking is not a one way street. It’s not just about what others can do for you, but also what you can do for others. Make the most of your networking opportunities and use LinkedIn as a tool to build a strong professional online image.