A LinkedIn campus spokesperson and Gen Y expert shares these five tips to rock your LinkedIn profile:
1. Include keywords in your summary statement. “The Summary portion of your profile provides a chance to share the highlights of your bio in your own words. It’s also a place to include key words and phrases that a recruiter or hiring manager might type into a search engine to find a person like you.” For that matter, include them in your title (but don’t be obnoxious). It’s easy to forget that the title can be long—said campus spokesperson’s summary statement is 16 words long, or almost as long as a typical Tweet. (Ours, on the other hand, is about three words. Better get on that.) Instead of just putting your current or desired job title, why not include a plug of your blog (“Author of ‘I’m A Great Copywriter Dot Com’”) or a mention of your pro bono work (“PR representative for boutique restaurants”) if it’s relevant to your job search?
2. Write for the screen. “LinkedIn, or any website for that matter, is not the place for long-form prose. Present your summary statement in short blocks of text with lots of white space. Bullet points are great, too.” But don’t overload with bullet points either. Just because there’s whitespace between each item doesn’t give you an excuse to list 300 things.
3. List all experience. “One of the most valuable aspects of LinkedIn is the way it connects you with former colleagues and classmatesâ€”which, as we all know, are some of our best networking contacts. It would be a shame if a long lost former colleague or classmate, who happens to be a recruiter now, couldn’t find you because you hadn’t listed that shared employment in your LinkedIn profile.” But if you’re really not proud of that food-service job you took to put yourself through college, maybe putting that on would be oversharing. What do you think? We vote for leaving that off and mentioning, instead, that you earned some pocket change freelancing while in school.
4. Collect diverse recommendations. “Nothing builds credibility like third party endorsements. The most impressive LinkedIn profiles have at least one recommendation associated with each job a person has held. Think about soliciting recommendations from professors, internship coordinators and colleagues, employers, classmates with whom you shared an extra curricular activity and professional mentors.” But DON’T ask for recommendations from people who unchecked the “Interested in: reference requests” box, because seriously, that’s just rude.
5. Share your news frequently. “The best way to stay on other people’s radar screens is to update your status on LinkedIn (the box near the top of your profile) at least once a week. Tell people about events you are attending, major projects you’ve completed, professional books you are reading, successes you are celebrating or any other news that you would tell someone at a networking reception or on a quick catch-up phone call.” But remember, LinkedIn is not Twitter. Share, don’t overshare.