On Monday we were honored to have a panel discussion at the Compass Group – the career networking group which I am the volunteer leader at Unity Church of the Hills in Austin, Texas. The panel consisted of Recruiters from Dell, HP, and Google as well as a representative who flew in from Chicago. The audience got an insider’s perspective on how LinkedIn is used to fill positions. The #1 piece of advice was to have a strong profile.
Top ten tips for building a strong profile from LinkedIn:
1. Don’t cut-and-paste your resume. You wouldn’t hand out your resume before introducing yourself. Describe your experience and abilities as you would to someone you just met.
2. Borrow from the best marketers. Use specific adjectives, colorful verbs, active construction (ie..”managed project team” instead of “responsible for project team”).
3. Write a personal tagline. It’s the first thing people see in your profile. It follows your name in search hit lists.
4. Put your elevator pitch to work. The more meaningful your summary is, the more time visitors will spend on your profile.
5. Point out your skills. The Specialties field is your personal search engine optimizer when Recruiters are looking for candidates.
6. Explain your experience. Briefly say what the company does and what you did/do for them.
7. Distinguish yourself from the crowd. Use the Additional Information section to round out your profile with a few key interests, web sites which showcase your abilities, trade association affiliations, and awards/recognitions.
8. Ask and answer questions. Thoughtful questions and useful answers build your credibility.
9. Improve your Google PageRank. Get recommendations from colleagues, clients, and employers.
10. Build your connections. Identify connections that will add to your credibility and pursue those.
Build a solid profile so Recruiters can find you when they are sourcing for a position. Make sure your profile is marked as “Public” (it is by default unless you change it), and have a valid email address at the bottom of the profile page.