- Bargaineering - http://www.bargaineering.com/articles -

How to Build a LinkedIn Profile that Will Help You Get a Job

Last year, CareerBuilder released the results of a survey indicating that 37 percent of employers look at social media [3] as part of the hiring process. As our society becomes even more dependent on technology and the web, more employers are likely to take a look at your online activity, and make decisions about you. As a result, it’s vital that you present yourself in the best light on social media [4].

One of the web sites that’s especially important when it comes to making professional connections is LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn profile can make or break your job search. On top of that, if you are looking for a job, LinkedIn can be a way for others to find you. Even though I’m not in the market for a traditional job, LinkedIn has resulted in freelance gigs.

Here are some tips for building a LinkedIn profile that is more likely to help you get a job:

Start with a Professional Image

You have to upload an image. In order to look “real,” it helps to have a face that others can look at. While you don’t have to rush out and have professional head shots taken, you do need to choose an image that looks professional. Make sure your image presents you as an approachable and professional person who is likely to fit in at most work environments.

Tinker with Your Summary

It’s important to note that LinkedIn has made changes that mean that third-level connections can’t see your name when they search. So, you might be perfect for someone searching on LinkedIn, but he or she won’t know your name. You can tinker with the summary by adding your name as the top line. Write your name, hit return a couple of times, and then write your summary.

Make sure your summary offers a good representation of who you are and what you do. Think of it as your elevator pitch. You need to quickly let searchers know that you are what they are looking for.

Fill Out Your Profile as Much as Possible

You have the chance to really shine in the experience and education sections. Be as complete as possible, since you might be able to catch the eye of someone who attended school at your alma mater, or who worked at the same company as you. These indications can help you get an “in” — even if you didn’t realize you had one.

When sharing your experience, try to focus on your success. Show that you have accomplished more than just adding another job responsibility to your long list of job responsibilities. If you have publications, make sure that you include that information as well.

Ask for recommendations from those you are comfortable with. While LinkedIn is trying to make a big deal of the endorsements, it’s more impressive to have some solid recommendations for your work. If you worked with someone in the past, ask if they would write a recommendation for your LinkedIn profile (and be willing to do it for those who ask you).

Join Groups

Finally, join relevant groups. If you are a part of an industry group, that can help you network with others, as well as raise your profile on LinkedIn. Participate by making insightful comments and offer help to other members, and you can establish solid connections, and impress potential employers.

With a little tweaking, you can improve your LinkedIn profile and increase the chances that you will get the job.

(Photo: Nan Palmero [5])