LinkedIn is a trusted online network of more than 44 million experienced professionals from 200 countries representing 170 industries. After signing up for LinkedIn, you create a profile that summarizes your professional expertise and accomplishments. You can then form networking connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you. Your network consists of your connections, your connections' connections, and the people they know, linking you to a vast number of qualified professionals. Your professional network of trusted contacts is one of your most valuable assets. Through your network you can discover inside connections that can help you with your job search.
Today, I'll walk you through some important things to consider while building your LinkedIn profile.
Similar to a resume, your LinkedIn profile is where you tell the world all about yourself, but as usual, you have choices to make. Here are some of the important things to consider when setting up your profile:
- Are you interesting?
The answer to this is that you're as interesting as your profile is. If you do any volunteer work or participate in extra-curricular activities, consider adding them to your profile (and to your resume). You never know who might read your profile and want to learn more about you. Only post activities that will help you appear professional.
- Are you Honest Abe?
These days, almost every recruiter is well connected on LinkedIn, which means that they use it frequently to find candidates. In a survey conducted by the Electronic Recruiter's Exchange (ERE.com), 64% of the recruiters reported that they use LinkedIn to do background research. That means that your dates of employment and graduation and job titles on your profile MUST match your resume exactly.
- Are you reachable?
Whether or not to list your e-mail address on your profile is a decision you should not take lightly. When you are conducting a job search , it is important that people who want to contact you can do so with ease, whether they find you on LinkedIn or on a job board. There are many reasons why people choose to keep their e-mail addresses on LinkedIn confidential. However, if you don't list your e-mail on your profile, a recruiter has to rely on someone that is connected to you to make the introduction. If your e-mail is listed on your profile, you remove the middleman.
- Are you picture perfect?
Many people now have a picture on their LinkedIn profile, which is not yet nearly as widely accepted on a resume. A picture makes your LinkedIn profile seem more personal, and even more approachable. If you choose to include a picture, remember this: A picture is only worth a thousand words if it is professional looking.
- Are you a LION?
Frequently you will see the term LION on a profile, which stands for LinkedIn Open Networker. A LION is someone who agrees to accept LinkedIn invitations from anyone who sends them, regardless of whether they know them personally. The people who designate themselves as LIONS are typically business owners, headhunters, and people who love to connect other people together. While you are a job seeker, you may wish to become an open networker simply to increase the number of connections you have to people that can help you.
Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool that can help you connect with people who can lead you down the path towards a successful job search once they find you. Take the time to setup a great LinkedIn profile and you will have added another powerful way for recruiters to find you.