Like any social networking medium you need to firstly decide why and how you will use LinkedIn for your job search. Before you can use LinkedIn, you need to have decided on what role you are looking for. It is no good branding your LinkedIn profile for a role within a professional practice if you decide you want to go in-house.
Every time you appear on LinkedIn your headline or personal tag line goes with you. Make sure you brand your headline as what you want to be seen as by the on-line community, and especially potential recruiters. It is better to brand yourself for the job you want rather than the job you have. The reason? Recruiters will often search for a specific job title when looking for potential candidates.
The summary box in your profile needs to be your personal elevator pitch but targeted at the people you want to see it – i.e. recruiters. Your elevator pitch needs to be why you are different and the value you can bring to an organisation. Make sure you include some of the keywords which recruiters are likely to be searching for.
LinkedIn can be your very own micro-PR machine. I’m not sure how many characters LinkedIn will limit you to on the status update feature. Regardless of how many characters you are allowed; regularly tell potential employers and recruiters what you have achieved, or are doing in the course of your normal working life. For example, tell people about great client wins, new recommendations, product or service launches, networking meetings you are attending. Recruiters are looking for evidence that you are keeping your LinkedIn profile active and up to date.
Do remember to update the content in your LinkedIn profile regularly. For example, you should refresh your profile at least once a quarter. You are more likely to show up in the LinkedIn updates if you regularly update your status and general profile.
Wonder what really makes people cringe when they look at your LinkedIn Profile? It’s those clichéd words and phrases. You know what they are — those ambiguous ones that really don’t tell you anything.
As we head into 2011 our Analytics Team decided to take a crack at finding the most clichéd and overused phrases for the past year using over 85 million LinkedIn profiles. Here are our 2010 top 10 buzzwords used in the USA.
Top 10 overused buzzwords in LinkedIn Profiles in the USA – 2010
People will scan your profile just as they do a news story. When I worked as a reporter, we used the inverted pyramid method to structure a story, making sure all the important facts were stacked near the beginning. You too should answer the who, what, when, why and how in your profile summary section. Point to results and quantify your impact to render your record more concrete. If you’ve written a compelling summary, your audience will read on.
It’s an unspoken rule that people accept most connection requests on LinkedIn. Why? You may find out about an opportunity through those connections. And search results are sorted by the closest to furthest degrees of connection — so you’ll be closer to the top of the pile when your connections perform searches.
To raise your visibility among your connections, share news about the industry or relevant companies. Then join a few professional groups that interest you. Recruiters often mine groups for prospects, and answering questions or participating in discussions shows your expertise and engagement.
What most LinkedIn users aren't aware of is that the results displayed for these searches aren't random. LinkedIn uses an internal set of algorithms to prioritize certain profiles over others, giving the businesses and individuals who have optimized their accounts correctly a leg up in using the service to find jobs, clients and more.
If you're using LinkedIn for any of these purposes, getting a strong ranking in its internal search results should be a top priority.
For me this was a poetry group and it was pure torture. Joining groups outside of your comfort zone has two important advantages. First, you will come into contact with new people and new ways of thinking. Both will expand your horizons and even improve your employment prospects.
Secondly, groups outside of your comfort zone will sharpen your assessment of which groups you really enjoy and profit from. Turn off email prompts from groups you don’t really use and focus on the few that are really useful.
You can use the same information in other sections of LinkedIn to increase your hit rate – ensuring your Contact data is obvious, while gaining increased traffic to your Profile.
Unfortunately, information added to your Contact section is NOT accessed by LinkedIn’s search algorithm, but you can use parts of your Summary or Interests for this purpose, with text similar to this example:
In my role as Senior Database Architect, I’ve led IT projects for the Professional Services division of IBM, as well as worked with Accenture on major data warehousing and business intelligence projects.
My experience crosses Oracle, Hyperion, Teradata, and SQL Server, and I enjoy collaborating with senior developers working in Java and C#.
I welcome inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org or 555-433-1212.
As you can see, adding this data into Summary or Interests will help boost traffic on the keywords used, and give potential Connections another way to see your contact data quickly.