Of course you’re on LinkedIn. Every serious job seeking professional is. LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet, with more than 120 million members in over 200 countries and territories. According to the site’s founder, professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate that is faster than two new members per second. But if you’re like many users, you set up a profile a while ago and haven’t gone back in to update it. The site is adding new features all the time, and if you’ve not been paying attention, you’re missing out on some great opportunities.
Here are some ideas for your update:
Add to your headline. Mine used to simply state my title. Now I’ve added that I’m a writer and an advocate for women in business – to reflect my upcoming position as the chair of the regional Women’s Business Center.
Make sure your recommendations are visible. I had four, but only one showed up in my profile. It’s because they hadn’t been linked to my current job title, and I hadn’t checked the box that made them visible to my profile visitors.
Add skills. LinkedIn prompts you for three, but you can add as many as you want. This is one way of helping recruiters and consulting opportunities find you. (Think of it as SEO for your profile.)
Add awards and honors, your publications, your blog, or your portfolio of work. LinkedIn connects you to applications that make it easy to share samples of your work.
Add organizations that you volunteer for. This is a great way to attract people with similar passions for your cause and find people in your network who might be interested in serving with you or helping the organization in other ways.
And while you’re on the site, be generous in your connections. You should aim to have as many as possible. Unlike Facebook and other sites that offer games and other non-business activities, you won’t be in danger of viruses or time-wasting posts. Choose your Facebook friends carefully, but accept almost every offer to connect on LinkedIn. Every connection you make gives you some access to their networks as well. In a recent poll, more than 80% of recruiters said they used social networks to find or screen candidates. If you’re serious about your next job opportunity, you’ll make it easy to find you.
Here’s a hard-hitting article from a recruiter on how he searches profiles on LinkedIn.