LinkedIn has become a critical component in one’s job search portfolio. While the résumé is not dead, your LinkedIn profile is likely just as important. Human resource recruiters use LinkedIn to find potential candidates for job openings. If your résumé gets through an initial screening, a next step is often for the employer to review your LinkedIn profile. I recommend the following when building your LinkedIn profile:
- Use keywords. Keywords are necessary so that searches done by HR departments match to your profile. Keywords include industry keywords, “functional” key words (if you are a marketing expert, use the keywords to reflect your expertise) and management/leadership keywords.
- Reinforce your professional brand. Prior to updating your résumé or LinkedIn profile, spend time developing your brand. What makes you unique and what will you do for potential employers? With this brand statement in mind, ensure that your profile supports your brand.
- Write in first person. LinkedIn is a bit more informal than a résumé, so it’s fine, actually preferred if you write in the first person. Just make sure you don’t use “I” too much. If you are seeking a leadership role, you must talk about teamwork and what your teams have accomplished.
- Complement your résumé. Your profile is not a mirror of your resume. Instead, use your profile to dig deeper into your career story. Keep the CAR format in mind – what were the Challenges in your roles, what Actions did you take, and what were the Results?
- Be more comprehensive. Particularly if you are transitioning your skills to a different industry or different career, your profile can be used to include so much more information. Focus on the last five years and your key challenges and accomplishments. Include relevant presentations you’ve done, as long as you aren’t sharing any confidential information.
Ignore LinkedIn at your peril. Spend time in creating a thorough LinkedIn profile to aid your job search.
For more information, visit our website at www.makinglifecount.com or contact Joni Lindquist – firstname.lastname@example.org, (913) 345-1881.
Photo credit: Coletivo Mambembe / Foter /Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)