5 Points in Preparing Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a business and employment-oriented social networking service that operates via websites and mobile apps

here are 5 points to prepare your LinkedIn profile.
1. Headline with Keywords
There are two standards for a headline.
a) Your job title and current employer b) Keywords that describe positions, industry, and expertise.
While both are good, I always recommend b. This strategy calls more attention to your profile and, with proper keywords, shows up more in searches. This strategy also works best for those that are in job transition or looking to switch disciplines. The biggest thing to remember here, “Is this what I want to be known for so professionals and recruiters can find my profile?” Keep in mind you only have 120 characters to use.
2. Summary with Details
I think this approach supports the practice of not using generic self-descriptors. “Hard-Working”, “Diligent”, “Spirited” are descriptions that most recruiters are not searching for. If you are a Project Manager, add what types of projects you worked on and the software you used. If you are a sales person, who are your clients and what industry do they represent. Use industry specific words and proper titles (see #1) as those are keywords for which your future employer might search. You have 2000 characters in this section, so make use of it.
3. Support Each Position with Examples
LinkedIn has recently allowed users to add links for each position. I encourage everyone to use this when relevant. If you have a Powerpoint presentation you are proud of, upload it through Slideshare. If you developed or managed the development of a website, add the link to that site. In each position summary, share examples of the type of software you use. If in sales, do you use Salesforce and Citrix? If in Project Management, Do you use Basecamp or Microsoft Project. Types of software are good keywords for recruiters.
4. Get Recommendations, not Endorsements
First, I want to say that listing your skills is very important. But, LinkedIn users have diluted the effectiveness of endorsements, as many are endorsing skills to bolster each others profile without merit. A more powerful representation of your skills as a professional is through a recommendation. Think of this as your references from your resume. Two things I recommend doing to get more recommendations. 1) Write a sample recommendation to send to former co-workers. Sending this will help them get started and you can encourage them to add their own words to elaborate on their experience with you. 2) Write a recommendation for others. “The more your give, the more you receive.” It’s that simple.
5. Keep it Relevant
This is one that I have to remind myself of. Some of you might have a long job history or have changed industries/positions in the past. In that case you may want to either omit or remove some information on your work history. If your first job out of college was as a sales person in telecommunications but now you are in a marketing position in the Healthcare Industry, you really do not need that on your profile if you are not interested in a Sales position or the Telecommunications industry. If you worked multiple positions at one time, you should only list the ones relevant for your career path.
You may notice I did not list anything about a photo. This is a discussion for another blog article, but since recruiters can not search through a database of photos to find people with brunette hair or green eyes, I encourage LinkedIn users to concentrate more on profile setup that will help them get found. The overall strategy to keep in mind is use keywords to get found and provide supporting content to stand out.

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