More and more, hiring managers are routinely using LinkedIn to look up individuals in an attempt to drill a bit deeper on a candidate being reviewed for a position.
What would they see on your LinkedIn profile? Would the content give you that little bit of extra "oomph?" Enough to warrant moving you over to the "short stack?" Or would a peek at your profile look more like peering into a deserted ghost town with tumbleweed traveling down a dusty road? If the latter, then maybe it's time to fill out your professional profile.
There’s a lot of information a person can put in his or her LinkedIn profile, but here are three of my favorite areas to beef up.
Lots of 'em. It looks good…period. Yes, you’ll have to chase down old co-workers, hound your business associates, and ask them five times before they’ll actually write the darn things…but I’m telling you, it will pay off in the long run. Pound for pound, this one will go a long way towards polishing up your professional image.
Beef up your summary section. This is your 30-second commercial, your opportunity to showcase yourself when you first have their attention. Take some time to browse through other LinkedIn members' profiles to see what they've put in their summary sections. That should jump-start your creativity for coming up with what you might include in yours. Without being disingenuous, I would even go so far as to make some temporary modifications to your summary section that speak directly to a particular position your are interested in.
Just under the summary section, you will find a spot in which to list your specialties. Adding to this section is especially important since employers can search on this field when looking for a particular talent or expertise. What would you want to be searched on: public speaker, Web 2.0 architect, new-product introductions? Put it in the specialties section.
These are just a few to get you started—but once you get rolling on this, you’ll come up with a lot of additional ideas to broaden out your profile. Yes, it's an investment of time, but you’ll be noticed all the better for it.
As always, we're interested in hearing how your job search is going. Feel free to contact us.