BEING ACTIVE ON LINKEDIN
Contributor

LinkedIn is a social media tool that is still very new for many job seekers and social media users. While LinkedIn is a great tool to connect with other professionals and learn more about your industry, many users still have questions about how to make the most out of their user experience. It provides its users with significant benefits that can be utilized to improve your online and workforce presence. With this new approach to the professional world and the job search some of the biggest questions that people have are:

  • How can I get noticed?
  • What is the best way to approach others on LinkedIn?
  • How do I respond to a recruiter?
  • How do I contact another professional about scheduling an informational interview?
  • What kind of information should I put on my profile?

PROFILE

 
The profile is one of the most common concerns of the LinkedIn user. One of the first things that others will see when accessing your profile is your headline, name and picture. The headline is very important; it is a statement of up to 140 characters which gives you an opportunity to send the reader a very clear message of what you specialize in. By default, LinkedIn sets the headline as your current company name and position title. One creative method to adopt is to create a slogan for yourself and use it as a part of your headline. If you are currently looking for new opportunities, you can also mention “Seeking new opportunities in ____________.”

Do you have a degree or a professional designation?Make sure that you mention the acronym besides your name. i.e. Masters of Business Administration – MBA. This lets recruiters know at first glance what areas you have expertise in. Designations are a great way to add value to your portfolio. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile picture is professional, avoid pictures with sunglasses, overly formal or casual or Photoshopping yourself out of a group!

MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR WORK EXPERIENCE

 
When you are writing your work history, avoid copying and pasting your resume. Use the same information to describe your work responsibilities as stated on your resume, with a storytelling approach. Keep the work description to a maximum of one to two short paragraphs. Remember to put your main responsibilities and biggest achievements, but avoid writing too much information as you will want to have a chance to elaborate during an interview.

Are you a student or recent grad and don’t know what work experience to include on your profile? Always utilize your volunteer, part-time and co-op experiences. List these experiences as a normal job, just ensure that you mention the type of position it was. Also, don’t be afraid to put previous jobs which are not completely relevant to the direction that you want to take your career in. Simply summarize the job description and keep the core focus on transferable skills.

Another great feature to take advantage of on your LinkedIn profile is the project section. In your career both academic and professional, you are assigned projects, and we all have ones that we feel especially proud of. This section opens up a great opportunity for you to provide more information on these projects, these include professional, educational, volunteer and personal endeavors. You can go into full detail, letting people know what you’ve done and what you’ve achieved. Consider using the STAR format when writing the explanation about the project. The STAR format is also a great way to do well during an interview, according to a great article by Life Hacker! Begin with answering each in point form, then develop the points into a paragraph.

STAR

Situation

Task

Action

Result


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