It is a known fact that when it comes to employment, being hired is not always dependent on what you know but often times it’s who you know that can be your biggest asset. That’s why you always hear people talking about the importance of networking. LinkedIn is an excellent website created specifically for professional networking but some users just aren’t using it to its fullest potential.
In comparing your LinkedIn page to a sandwich your resume would be the bread and your profile page would be the meat. The bread might come first, but the meat is the star of the show. Try adding your LinkedIn profile link to the bottom of your resume and encourage potential employers to check it out when you submit a cover letter or get interviewed.
Your profile not only illustrates your experience but it also shows people you may have in common, provides a complete work history, links out to other things you’ve done, lists recommendations from former colleagues, and much more. Your LinkedIn page is your opportunity to expand your resume and get all of your great accomplishments that may not fit onto the resume.
Here are some tips to help beef up your LinkedIn profile and impress your future employer.
Take time to set up your LinkedIn profile page:
The biggest mistake (I should say one of the biggest as others come to mind) you can make on LinkedIn is to fill only the required information and upload your resume then leave it alone. Even if your resume was more robust than most of the others you would run the risk of never giving it a chance to be seen. Companies search for different skills they are looking for in prospective employees.
You have the opportunity to add keywords and skills onto your profile. Doing so will increase your chances of being seen by employers and give you a shot at being hired. You never know what may stick out. Something like being alumni from the same school as the person in charge of hiring can give you an edge over the competition. Maybe you and the person in charge of hiring both graduated with an online degree and share the bond of online learning - you never know.
Network on the site:
LinkedIn is a site created to promote and facilitate professional networking online, but some of the people who have profiles only created it to post a resume. That is defeating the entire purpose. Add contacts that you have worked with in the past, people you know well and would do business with in the future. Again, they may be searching for a job just like you but they may also know someone of influence in the field you are looking to enter.
They can pass your name on, if your profile is completely filled out with relevant information, you just may get considered. Give yourself every opportunity to be seen.
Check out the 21 Ways To Build Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn.
Beef up your page:
Make use of the recommendation section on your profile page. Reach out to current and former professors, managers and co-workers who can put in a good word for you. Telling people about yourself is good, but when they are able to see great things written about you from others it is even better. Getting a recommendation from a person with an excellent reputation is always a positive thing and can only help you.
Be sure to have your resume current with your most recent work experience and skills you have acquired. Your resume and your profile page should tell your story and sell you before you have the opportunity to do so in an interview. Make sure both are presentable and professional looking so you don’t sell yourself short.
Jesse Langley lives near Chicago. He divides his time among work, writing and family life. He writes on behalf of www.professionalintern.com.