While the internet can make the job search a little easier, it also brings new challenges to the table. For example, many employers consider LinkedIn to be absolutely essential for finding new hires; they look for profiles that don’t just list qualifications, but demonstrate something extra. To help you create a winning LinkedIn profile that will help to get you that dream job, we’ve put together a few quick tips!
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LinkedIn is a networking website that allows job seekers, employers, and employees to connect based on relevant work history and interests. According to their website, the vision of LinkedIn is to “create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce,” and their mission is stated as simply to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” Once you’ve signed up for LinkedIn, how can you make this happen? Here are a few quick tips:
1. Don’t Just List Your Work History: Tell Your Story
You might think of your resume as a simple list of responsibilities from your previous positions. While you do need to mention the basics, LinkedIn allows you to write much more about your work history. Use this as an opportunity to tell your potential employers who you are. What are you passionate about? What drives you? What are some things in your professional life that you are most proud of, or that you most aspire to? In other words, treat your profile as a conversation and not a CV!
2. Be Brief
While keeping tip #1 in mind, make things reasonably short! Your summary should be able to tell employers who you are while only being a few short paragraphs. This applies to your overall profile as well; you should aim to have a completed profile, but one that isn’t too crowded or overdone. Once you’ve finished your profile, ask yourself: is this something an employer could read/navigate quickly and easily?
3. Use a Profile Picture
Don’t be shy! Make sure you have a profile picture of yourself smiling and preferably from the shoulders up. A picture of yourself in action or on the job can also go a long way. For employers searching on LinkedIn, your photo will be the first impression they have of you. It’s therefore a good idea to convey as much friendliness and professionalism as you can!
4. Join Groups Related to Your Career
Joining LinkedIn groups is not just a great way to connect with other people in your field and discover job opportunities. Joining groups related to your career can provide a vast amount of information about the job you’re looking to get (this can be especially useful if you’re looking for a career change!). Finally, it can demonstrate to potential employers that you’re interested and engaged in your industry.
5. Link to Personal Websites that Show Your Strengths
Do you have a blog that you’re proud of? Is your Twitter feed tailored to you career? Add links to outside personal websites that can demonstrate your personality and strengths to potential employers! If you decide to use something like Twitter (or even Facebook), be absolutely sure it is something you would be proud/comfortable showing an employer. As with tip #3, always think this: is this the very first impression I would like someone to have of me? Is this professionally appropriate? (Because your social media can show up when employers Google your name, it’s a good idea to keep them professional and clean even if you don’t put them on LinkedIn!)
6. List Personal Hobbies and Interests
List hobbies and personal interests outside of your career. Doing so will make you appear like a much more rounded person, and therefore a better job candidate!
While these are some of the most basic tips, there are plenty more on the web. Click below for further reading on how to make your LinkedIn profile great!
We also have a few books at the library that can help. Click on the covers for more info!
Thanks for reading, and happy hunting!