4 Steps to Creating a Compelling Profile at LinkedIn

The LinkedIn social networking site is a valuable platform for job hunters to make contacts with potential employers or clients. Take advantage of the profile page to make an advertisement for your unique skills and abilities.

The first thing you’ll want to do is complete your LinkedIn profile. Take your time to do it as well as you can, and return and tweak it often. It’s like a job application, except that it goes out to all kinds of people you would never have a chance to talk to otherwise.

1. Post a Photo

It doesn’t need to be a professional shot, but it should represent you as a competent professional in your field. Your facial expression should be friendly and alert, and the photo should be appropriate for the kind of job you’re looking for.

2. Benefits of Hiring You

As you write your profile, think about what you offer to the reader, not what the reader can give you. So instead of saying that you’re looking for a job, tell the reader what kind of problems you solve.

A landscaper might say that he increases the value of homes. A day care provider might say that she provides peace of mind to working parents. Those are called benefit statements, and they put what you do in terms of what the employer or buyer really wants or needs.

3. Keep to Relevant Education and Job History

When you come to the education and job history, put in what is relevant to your current job search and leave out what’s not. No one is looking at this as an exhaustive job history, only an indication of your qualifications for the job you’re looking for.

4. Get Recommendations

Recommendations are an important part of your profile. Collect and display them. Ask people who have been happy with your work to recommend you. Even if you did something for free for a relative, have the person set up a free LinkedIn account and say what a good job you did.

Also, be generous in recommending other people, because what goes around really does come around.

Your Competence: Your Value

Change and tweak your profile page every week or so until you feel really good about it. Get feedback from friends and trusted mentors. Once you have gotten it the way you want it, go back every month or so and update it to keep the information current and find other tweaks you might want to make.

Include your profile URL on your resume, business cards, and other places around the web where you show your expertise, such as your blog, your YouTube profile pages, and other places.

You can get a shorter, more user-friendly URL for your profile page by going to the menu tab “Profile.” Select “Edit My Profile.” At the tab where it says, “Your Public Profile URL,” click [Edit]. You’ll be able to put your name or some good keywords into the blank, and if the URL is available, you’ll be able to use that.

More people will see this than will see your resume, so your job search will be well served if you make your LinkedIn profile the best it can be and keep it fresh.

By Jan Bear. To get valuable insider tips on how job hunters can use social marketing sites to get a job fast and how to make the most of the opportunities each one affords, see Job Hunter’s Guide to Social Media.

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