by Susan Murphy
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, boasting more than 300 million users. Recruiting software site Jobvite reports that 93 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to find qualified candidates. If you’re looking for work and aren’t on LinkedIn, well, you should be! Even if you are on LinkedIn already, making sure your profile is as good as it can be is important. You want to ensure that your information is complete and up to date. Here are 5 areas you should focus on when building an optimal LinkedIn profile.
A Well Written Summary
Your summary is the first introduction of yourself to a prospective employer, so it should be complete and robust. Write your summary in the first person, as LinkedIn is a social network and lends itself more to a casual writing style. Be sure to include any accomplishments and detailed descriptions of what kind of work you’re proficient at. If you’re uncomfortable writing about yourself in this way, you’re not alone! Have a friend or colleague help you to write your summary or at least review it with you.
In addition to employment information, LinkedIn allows you to add projects to your profile. This is a great way to highlight your accomplishments. Talk about specific projects you worked on at different jobs and really accentuate the good work you’ve done. Include anything that is high profile in nature and work that you’re particularly proud of.
All Your Work Experience
Don’t just put your recent work experience here, put ALL your work experience. You are the sum total of your experience, so even that admin clerk job you did in your early 20s counts as experience. Even if you’re applying to be a Director of Marketing now, that clerk job shows your length of time in the work world plus it shows that you have admin skills. It all adds up!
If you’re ever written anything that was published, or contributed to a publication, add this experience in here. Published works lends credibility. So even that e-Book your wrote 3 years ago counts. Published works speak volumes about your ability to create original content and get it out there in the world.
Get as many recommendations as you can! These are gold. Like references on a resume, the quality of your recommendations can go a long way to give you clout in your industry. Talk to former bosses, colleagues or clients and ask them to write you a recommendation for LinkedIn. Reciprocate too, and write them one. Recommendations make the world go round!
Finally, don’t forget to use the social features of LinkedIn too. Connect with people in Groups, ask for introductions and find your former co-workers. You never know where your next lead will come from. So dive into LinkedIn and get your profile up and running today!