Let us be honest, a lot of the time when looking for a new job it isn’t what you know, it is who you know. After a few recent conversation with friends who struggled to find jobs for months only to be set up by a long forgotten acquaintance or friend in the end. One of the main reasons to network is to ask someone for job recommendations at some point. The infamous desk Rolodex at one point served as a monument to how many people someone knew and who they could reach out to.
The Rolodex is so last decade, welcome to the age of social media. Taking place of the round ball of paper on your desk is the now infamous LinkedIn. The social networking site is taking job hunting, recruiting, and self-promotion to a whole new level. LinkedIn is basically your resume, education, interests, hobbies, and achievements all wrapped up and packaged for your friends and recruiters to see. LinkedIn houses your resume for anyone to see (if you let them) 24/7.
The issue that plagues social media hits LinkedIn just as much. The issue is the wrong information. Too many recruiters today can Google a potential employees name only to find alcohol, drug, and profanity laced posts and images. While before an employee may have looked great on his resume, social media has allowed recruiters to see another part of every person. The issue on LinkedIn is slightly different and it is too little information.
Everybody who has a LinkedIn account browses around other profiles to check out what they have posted and why. Too often you and I go to a profile only to be met with a few lines of nondescript text with the world’s most boring headline. To be honest that was me at some point, and I am still slowly working on improving my profile. I realized that in the age of social media not representing myself properly online would be like sending in a resume written on a Post-It note, a pink one.
Want to avoid the mistakes I and many others made on LinkedIn? Follow these few steps and you will be well on your way to looking the hirable and motivated hero that you are.
1. The Headline
If I could scream through the computer screen I would scream headline. This has to be catchy and descriptive since this is the first piece of text that anyone sees on your profile.
2. The Summary
Right after being done screaming about the headline I would yell a bit about the summary. You include a summary on your resume, why omit it on LinkedIn?
3. Include all experiences
On LinkedIn you can include almost everything you have done in your life. You shouldn’t include everything but you can add much more than usual. Did you take some relevant classes in college, have a applicable hobby, wrote a paper or an article? Include everything that a recruiter or someone else may find interesting.
4. Add Skills
LinkedIn has the ability for you to add up to 50 skills that you believe describe your capabilities the best and then others can endorse you for those that they believe are the best for you.
5. Proof Read
Proof read everything you wrote and then proof read it again. Nothing looks worse than a resume, online or not, that is full or grammatical errors and improper language.
6. Have a picture
LinkedIn gives you the advantage of adding a picture. A profile with a picture is much more likely to be viewed than one without. Keep in mind that this is a professional picture of you, not your dog, cat, spouse, or dream vacation spot. Be an egotist and just put up your most recent, best looking picture.
7. Add Contact Info
What is the point of a resume if no one can contact you? Add your social media accounts, website, and any other way that you want people to follow or contact you.
Things to Think About
1. Is there another point that is crucial to your LinkedIn account?
2. Does LinkedIn really help that much in a job search?
3. What is the best way to network on LinkedIn?