Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is the number one professional networking site in the world. With over 300 million members, people use LinkedIn for more than just cursory networking. According to a recent survey by Jobvite, 93% of employers use LinkedIn to search for qualified candidates.

LinkedIn

As having an online presence becomes more and more important in job searching, optimizing your LinkedIn profile is essential for job seekers. Below are some ways to strengthen your LinkedIn profile to make it stand out to recruiters looking to fill positions.

Photo Use a headshot. Make it professional and pleasant. Just you with no background distractions.
Headline Include keywords, strengths, thanks that make you unique.
URL Customize your LinkedIn URL.
Contact Info Indicate the method by which you want to be contacted.
Summary

 

Tell the story of who you are. Make it personal. Give it a personality—yours. Make it interesting. Use keywords.

Some questions to answer:

  • How did you get to where you are?
  • What makes you different from others who have a similar position?
  • What are your top professional accomplishments?
Experience Work History. Include achievements, accomplishments, and results. How have you saved time? Saved money? Solved a problem?
Skills & Endorsements This is the section in which you can identify what you’re good at and/or areas in which you have special knowledge.
Education List colleges/universities attended. List them in reverse chronological order (like a resume).
Special Sections Use these sections based on what will support the industry and career you want.
Pulse Stay updated in your field. Get information on trends, hot topics, advances, and disruptions.
Groups Groups allow you to interact with people who share similar interests. Join professional groups in your industry.
SlideShare Consider turning a class presentation/project into a SlideShare presentation and including a link to that presentation on your profile.
Details Grammar, spelling, punctuation all matter.
Activity Updates Find a way to share information, often within your industry, that helps others. Also, let people know what’s going on with you professionally. Update at least weekly.
Recommendations Make some. Lots of them.

Format idea:

  1. How long you’ve known the person? How you met. How you’ve worked together.
  2. Concrete examples (1 -3) of the person’s highest qualities.
  3. Your recommendation closing.
Using Messages

(Be of service)

Share information. Connect people. Ask for connections. Ask for recommendations. Set up informational interviews.

Personalize any messages.

Connections More is better. Dedicate 2 – 3 minutes per week to inviting new connections.
Privacy & Settings Move cursor to the small photo of you in upper right corner of your home page. Select Privacy & Settings. Decide what you want people to see when they view your profile.
Profile Views One Linkedin expert says you will get 1 job offer for every 300 profile views.
Stay Active Share updates. Recommend someone. Endorse someone. Share someone’s update. Like someone’s update. Connect to new people. Participate in groups. Introduce people to each other.
Revise Your Profile Keep track of your accomplishments on a weekly or at least monthly basis. Update your Linkedin profile at least quarterly.

To get ideas on what makes a great LinkedIn profile, take a few minutes to review the profiles of people you admire. Search for profiles of people in your industry. Notice the techniques and unique attributes of profiles that you like. Adapt them to fit your profile.

LinkedIn holds regular webinars on various aspects of the platform. You may also use the following link to find LinkedIn Resources for Students.

Would you like a Bellevue University Career Coach to review your LinkedIn profile? Send us an e-mail: careerservices@bellevue.eduMust be a BU student or alum.

Be Positive

Searching for a job is a difficult process which frequently takes longer than you anticipated. Personally, I’ve had two job searches while unemployed:  one lasted seven months and the other ten. During these experiences, I learned positive attitude is critical to success. I discovered that job openings in my area of interest didn’t change on a daily basis. Checking them every day became very depressing. There were times when it felt as though I’d never find the right position. I stopped looking every day so I could maintain my positive attitude. Instead, I spent more time networking and also gave myself permission to do some fun things now and then.

Believing you will eventually find the right position is half the battle and one you can control. Figure out a strategy to manage your search to keep up with new openings and applications while maintaining a positive attitude.

Posted on July 22nd, 2014 by

Using Pinterest and Instagram in Your Job Search

One of the ways to use image-based social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and others in your job search is to showcase your talents, strengths, and career highlights. Pinterest Instagram TumblrCreating a visual archive of your accomplishments may impress a recruiter enough to contact you or provide an eScrapbook, ePortfolio, or photo documentation to support your networking strategy, your cover letter, resume, and employment interview.

Images tell a powerful story. These mediums allow you to control the story you tell in a way that shows your dedication and contributions to your job, your industry, your professional development, your career.

As with other social media platforms:

  • Follow and connect with the companies where you would like to work.
  • Follow important professionals in your industry.
  • Follow organizations and publications as well.
  • Share what you learn and images that represent your professional philosophies with those who are following you.
  • As much as possible, keep things in the professional realm. I recommend having accounts that are completely professional—rather than mixing professional updates into your already personal accounts.

From pinning your resume to researching potential careers/companies and posting photos of your volunteer work, here are some websites with great tips on how to use visually-rich social media platforms to find a job.

Forbes

Glassdoor

Mashable

Social Media Today

Let us know which tips you find interesting.

Summertime

The dawning of July means it’s the middle of the summer.  Most people have big plans for the summer including vacations, catching up on projects and spending time with family.  Are you finding that you are working towards your goals or falling behind?  It’s easy to get distracted when the kids are out of school and the blue sky is beckoning.  It’s time to take stock and reenergize yourself on meeting your goals if you have a long to-do list.  There is still plenty of time left to make progress.

Summertime for me is a time to try to get projects completed at work.  Time at home is spent with kids enjoying their time off school.  These words from the song Sunshine and Summertime by Faith Hill sum it up:

“Hey, that’s the way we do it
New friends and blue skies that never end
Hey, that’s the way we do it
Good times, sunshine and summertime”

Posted on July 8th, 2014 by

Using Facebook in Your Job Search

Facebook

Facebook has been the reigning king of social media for nearly a decade. What started off as a quick communications tool between college students has grown into the largest social media platform in the world with over 1.2 billion users (Yes, that’s right, 1.2 billion.) Today, individuals, causes, and organizations are using Facebook to promote products, raise money, locate family members, and yes . . . find jobs.

Organizations have realized that using Facebook is a quick and cost-effective way to find individuals who are already connected with their products/services and tap them for job leads and to apply for jobs themselves. Facebook is second, only to Linkedin, for social media platforms business are using to find and hire talent. To take advantage of this strong and growing trend, here are 10 Actions you can take.

  1. Create a Facebook account specifically for professional use, or make sure that the personal Facebook account that you may currently have is 100% professional. Keeping your personal account professional means making sure that the content added by you, liked by you, commented on by you, and posted by those you subscribe to and have friended is professional, tasteful, and passes the billboard test.
  2. On your page, complete the “Work & Education” profile section. Regularly add images, videos, links, status updates, and comments that reflect your interest and expertise in your industry. Become a resource—a “go to” page—for insights and information in your chosen field. Talk about business books you’re reading, conferences you’ve attended, courses you’ve taken, articles you’ve written, and unique projects that you’re working on. You can use Facebook to aggregate your work samples, or provide a link to an online portfolio of your work. Because Facebook is not as business-formal as Linkedin, you have the opportunity of letting more of your personality come through in your status updates and other information that you choose to share.
  3. “Like” or subscribe to the Company Facebook pages of the organizations for which you would like to work. Become an active member of their online communities. This means staying current on trends in your industry and sharing what you learn on their Facebook pages. Contribute interesting and insightful comments. Talk about yourself using their products and services. When they have contests, online events, and other activities, participate.
  4. Share the interesting things you learn about these organizations with your Facebook friends and subscribers.
  5. Look for high-ranking and influential staff members who work at the organizations you’ve targeted and if they have professional Facebook pages designed for consumer engagement, Like and/or Subscribe to them. Become an active and contributing member of their communities as well. Linkedin is an excellent resource to use to identify these individuals.
  6. Keep track of news, events, and updates posted on these Facebook pages. Identify ways to tie your strengths and unique abilities to the ways in which the companies are growing. When positions come open, use the knowledge you’ve gained from being an active member of the company’s online community to write your cover letter, tailor your resume, and answer interview questions.
  7. Identify challenges that the organizations are facing and—without coming across as a know-it-all—offer quick solutions and ideas to solve these challenges.
  8. Share your “connection story.” Your connection story is the tale of how you came to admire and respect the company.
  9. Create an Interest List for those individuals and companies you identify on Facebook for business networking. (Use Facebook’s Help Center for information on how to do this.)
  10. Use your privacy settings to make sure that your Facebook friends, their friends, and the public only see what you want them to see. (Use Facebook’s Help Center for information on how to do this.)

Notice that none of the above actions say: Let them know your are looking for work; Ask them what it takes to get hired; Ask when the next position in your field of study will be open; Badmouth the competition. Of course, you should watch for jobs that are posted on Facebook and apply for the ones you’re qualified for.

Keep in mind, one of the most important ways you can use Facebook for job search is to build relationships with the organizations where you would like to work and the people who have the influence to hire you into these organizations. Use Facebook to get to know their culture. This will give you a valuable edge over competing applicants and allow you to present yourself as a current member of the company’s professional family.

 

* The Billboard Test is a way to evaluate posts, comments, and items you share via social media. Before posting ask yourself if you would feel comfortable with the post being displayed on a billboard in the middle of your home town with your name as the author. If the answer is yes, then post, comment, and share away! If not, it’s probably best come up with something else that better fits those criteria.