Today, though, I’m highlighting LinkedIn and sharing our top ten tips to maximize your use of the most common professionally used social media site:
Use Privacy Settings
When you’re making updates to your profile, do yourself a favor and turn off your “activity broadcasts”. If you add a position that you forgot to add earlier, you may confuse your network into thinking you’ve gotten a new job and that could lead to some awkward conversations.
Make it Personal
Your LinkedIn page is NOT your resume and you can forget some of the professional decorum you might typically use. It’s ok to use words like “I” or “me” and have a more conversational tone when you’re writing your summary and writing your work history.
Remember our post about resumes and that recruiters spend 10 – 30 seconds MAX reviewing a resume and they’ll probably spend the same amount of time on your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you’re using the right language to highlight your experience. Review job postings for positions in which you’re interested and mirror some of the verbiage you see on those postings on your profile.
LinkedIn offers the capability to rearrange the location of certain parts of your profile. Choose what you think is most important and make sure those parts are first. For example, your certifications should be closer to the top of your profile rather than towards the bottom. Choose which positions from your work history are on your profile – you don’t need to have your entire work history. Maybe you want your recommendations to be the first thing people see on your profile. It’s your space and you can choose how it’s configured.
Use the capability to share updates and link to information and articles about your professional interests, opinions, and your industry in order to show that you’re staying up to date on trends and are a valuable resource to the types of companies you’re hoping to work for one day.
My philosophy with connections on LinkedIn is to connect with as many different people as possible. As a recruiter and candidate “sourcer” I want the largest audience possible for my job postings. Some people only connect with those that they know well. Whatever your style, be professional and respond to messages and connection requests promptly and politely.
Be a Joiner
Join various industry groups and contribute to the conversation. Show that you’re a subject matter expert and connect with others who are like-minded in order to potentially grow your network and expand on your ability to share relevant information.
Be a Follower
Follow the companies that you’re hoping to work for one day, and other industry leading companies. If you get a coveted interview with one of these companies, you’ve got a leg up on what they’ve been up to and can speak intelligently about what’s currently going on at the organization.
Learn from Others
LinkedIn has categorized some high-powered executives and leaders as LinkedIn “influencers”. Check some of them out here and select whom you’d like to follow. This is great way to start to learn from those who are visionaries and experts in their field.
Find a Job
Companies and recruiters are seeing more and more the value of posting positions on LinkedIn. Take advantage of the next big avenue for job postings and search for your next opening via the “Jobs” category of LinkedIn.
LinkedIn can be a powerful ally on your job search as long as you’re using it the right way and benefiting from all the various resources the site has to offer.