LinkedIn has positioned itself as the premier online digital platform for professional networking. It distinguishes itself from other social media outlets by its focus on professional and career related information. LinkedIn contains a lot of extra “bells and whistles” that may not be of interest. This blog entry is designed to help you to maximize your time with LinkedIn, by focusing on the most important aspects of your profile:
- Job Search
Are you actively looking for a job, but don’t want to let your current co-workers know you are on the hunt? LinkedIn’s “open candidate” status is a signal to recruiters and companies that you are looking for new opportunities without putting a big bold sign to everyone and their dog. If you go to Accounts Preferences and update your status to open, it can be a subtle signal to recruiters that you are open to new opportunities.
- Avoid looking desperate
Avoid placing obvious verbiage in your profile summary about your job search. If you use words like “job seeker” in your profile it can come off as desperate. Instead of broadcasting exactly what you want broadcast who you are and your general skill sets. Recruiters can see that you are looking when you update the open candidate option.
- Target specific companies
Just about every company has a presence on LinkedIn. Start following the companies you want to work for. Review the content and information on their LinkedIn page. As job openings come available you will be fluent on their organizational culture. This will help you in your cover letter and the interview process.
- Keep your content current (profile picture)
Many people have a bad habit of creating their profile and not keeping it up to date. This may seem obvious but many people let their profile sit idle until they are actively on the job search, but you never know when an opportunity will come about. Your LinkedIn is your living resume and it’s imperative that it not get outdated.
This statement specifically applies to your profile picture. It’s imperative at least every 24 months to update your picture. It’s not required to pay for professional headshots. Simply have your friend should take a picture of yourself against a neutral backdrop.