Past Issues

May 30, 2016

The LinkedIn Profile Checklist Every Job Seeker Needs

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The LinkedIn Profile Checklist You Need

By Don Goodman, Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist

Job searching has taken a new direction. It's not about going to the job boards, finding the job opening you like, and then applying to it. That method will only have you waiting by the phone for a call that may or may not happen. Today's job seekers need to take a more proactive and interactive approach called job networking - and LinkedIn is a resource to help you do it.

When you've created an effective LinkedIn profile, it'll help you get in front of the right contacts (recruiters, hiring managers, professionals in the field, etc.) who can lead you to the path of the next job opportunity. However, in order for it all to happen you do need a LinkedIn profile that communicates and displays the right information. Take a run through the LinkedIn Profile checklist below:

Present a Headline that talks to your target audience.

The Headline is what shows up for your LinkedIn profile when it comes up in search results. It's also what shows up when others look at you through their contacts' Connections. By default, your LinkedIn profile Headlines reads your current job title and employer, but if you want to grab the attention of others it should say more than that.

Display professionalism in your Profile Photo.

A LinkedIn profile that includes a headshot photo is more likely to be clicked on than a profile without a photo. In selecting your profile photo, go with a headshot that presents you professionally and that makes you come off approachable.

Personalize your LinkedIn Profile URL.

Whether you choose to include your LinkedIn Profile on your resume or email signature, personalize the URL. It'll come off more professional and memorable. For ex.

Offer your value statement through the Summary section.

Like the resume, your LinkedIn Profile should have a Summary at the top that highlights what it is that you have to offer and how that translates to value for the potential employer. While pronouns like I, me and my are not advised on the resume, on your LinkedIn profile it needs to take on a more conversational tone, so they are okay.

Make your Work Experience keyword-rich.

As you describe and highlight accomplishments on the job under Work Experience, think about relevant keywords to include naturally in your writing. The more keyword-rich your profile is, the more likely it'll show up in search results.

Get endorsed for the right Skills and Expertise.

Review the Skills and Expertise section to prioritize what's important. When you do that, your contacts are more likely to Endorse you for the right skills, which in turn show recruiters and hiring managers you have what they are looking for. What you want to avoid is including Skills and Expertise that doesn't relate to the job or your profession. That will simply dilute your overall message.

Don't let your Education give away your age.

Your education, which can include specialized training and certifications received adds value to your qualifications. When listing the information, take caution with dates. It's not necessary to indicate when you received your degree from college - that can give away your age in some cases. Also don't include anything that may be too dated. You want to show you hold current skills that are valuable to the profession, not dated skills.

Join relevant Groups.

LinkedIn offers Groups to join in all areas - professional associations, industry groups, alumni groups, etc. If they're relevant to your profession or skills needed for the job, share their badge on your profile. It helps hiring managers and recruiters to see that you're connected and active in networks that are important. You can also benefit by taking things a step further with Groups like participating in discussions and sharing interesting articles to get your name out there. Many hiring managers and recruiters will look at discussions in relevant groups to pull out potential candidates for job openings they have available.

Make your profile Public.

LinkedIn Profiles that are made public allow others to view your information whether you're connected with them or not. This option is best when you're a job seeker.

No job seeker today should go without a LinkedIn profile and with the checklist above to creating an effective one, you'll see why as opportunities come pouring in.

Don Goodman is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job.

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