Part One of a Two-Part Series to Help You Develop a Highly Effective LinkedIn Profile!
Attempting a job search without a strong LinkedIn profile is like going on a road trip without a great playlist. You might get there, but it’s going to be a lot harder. In this 3-part series, we'll show you the Basics, give you great advice about Content, and help you develop a Killer Strategy to ensure your profile is not only found in the right searches (the Holy Grail of LinkedIn), but also compels headhunters and prospective employers to call you—fast—to fill their exciting open jobs. Let’s start with the Basics:
1. Your Photo
LinkedIn is not Facebook! Use a professional and recent photo with great lighting, a neutral background, and nothing distracting or personal. No vacation photos with half of your husband’s head cropped out and definitely no blurry or awkward selfies. Go with something high resolution that depicts your true likeness and represents the person you’d like a potential employer to see. This picture will make your first (and sometimes last) impression.
Be strategic in building your Connections. We’d like you to reach the coveted 500+ milestone because doing so creates the “links” that help you show up in LinkedIn searches. Think “six degrees of separation” as this is the paradigm for LinkedIn. However, who you connect with is an important part of being successful with LinkedIn. Some guidelines:
• Look for people you actually know who have a positive impression of you.
• Work hard to connect to people both inside AND outside your industry. This helps you to cast a wider net and show up in a broader array of searches. Same goes with geography—variety is best.
• Don’t accept strange looking accounts in an attempt to reach 500 connections. Keep it classy.
• If you come across someone’s profile who you don’t know but who you really admire, send them a note letting them know why you admire their background and include an invitation to connect.
3. Contact Info
If you’re actively open to a new job, ensure that the email you attach to your account is one that you’ll check regularly. Set up your LinkedIn notifications to send to that email so that you don’t have to go to LinkedIn multiple times each day. LinkedIn gives you the option to list a phone number, but use this cautiously depending on your willingness to take phone calls from your connections.
4. Check Your Inmails/Emails
Make sure you’re checking your email for notifications from LinkedIn so that you’re aware of new messages, endorsements, recommendations, etc. Sometimes these can go to your junk mail and you might miss something, so be sure that LinkedIn is not filtered out by your Spam filter. Try to keep up with InMails (LinkedIn’s proprietary version of email within its application) as these are typically from recruiters or job-seekers who are actively trying to contact you. Time kills all deals.
5. Privacy Settings
There are varying degrees of privacy that you can select. To locate your privacy settings, head to the upper right hand of the page and hover over the thumbnail version of your photo. Select “Privacy & Settings” and under “Privacy Controls” to see your privacy options. We are often asked how to remain anonymous while searching other profiles on LinkedIn. When in the Privacy Controls, simply select the option for “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile” and choose “You will be in complete private mode” to remain completely anonymous.
6. Automatic Updates
Use this feature carefully as it is VERY sensitive and will notify all of your connections every time you make even the smallest of updates to your LinkedIn profile. We recommend that you turn off your automatic updates when you’re overhauling your LinkedIn profile or making frequent changes—especially if you’re conducting a subtle job search. The right hand side of your profile page has a short-cut to this feature.
7. Your URL
Most people don’t realize that your LinkedIn URL is completely editable. Your URL is located underneath your profile photo. To edit it, you click on the little symbol to the right of your existing URL and this will take you to a screen that says, “Your Public Profile URL.” Then, click on the little pencil icon to edit it.
That’s it for the Basics. In our next blog of the LinkedIn Series, we’re going to talk about how to optimize your Content so that employers and headhunters find you and fall in love with you!
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