Making Your LinkedIn Profile Work for You

by Brian Skory

More and more employers are looking up candidates on LinkedIn as a standard part of their resume review, so it pays to keep your LinkedIn profile in good shape.
Talent scouts are also relying on LinkedIn more to identify potential candidates, so there are some specific actions you'll want to take to make your profile work for you.

Load your profile with skills keywords. When a talent scout is searching for prospective candidates on LinkedIn, they will perform keyword searches. For example, they might search for candidates who have listed Java, HTML5, and healthcare on their profiles. Be sure that you have added all pertinent skills on your LinkedIn profile so that when someone is looking for a candidate with a particular skillset such as yours, they can easily find you.

Tailor your summary.
Keywords only tell part of the story. Your summary is where you can really shine. Treat this as your cover letter and have it reflect specifically what you have to offer and what you're looking for. I was doing LinkedIn searches the other day and had brought up a list of candidates who matched the skills I was looking for—but based on what one of them had stated in their summary section, it was crystal clear that they were probably a near-perfect match for what I needed.

Include a link to your technical blog.
As I frequently mention, personal technical blogs are often worth their weight in gold. Not only do they provide employers an opportunity to gauge your skill level, they also let people know that you are passionate enough about your craft that you want to blog about it. With LinkedIn, you have the option to add a link to your blog site. I recommend putting that right in your summary section.

Connect with talent scouts.
If you've found someone you enjoy working with, be sure to connect with them. They are generally pretty active on their LinkedIn Streams, so when you like someone's update, or make one of your own, they will likely see that activity, and you will be kept fresh in their mind.

Make it a habit to check in on your profile once a quarter and spend a few minutes keeping it up to date. The time and effort that you spend on this activity will truly pay off as you turn your profile into one that will begin working for you.
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