Rights & Money

You’re Probably Doing LinkedIn Wrong

The odds are that your LinkedIn profile is missing the mark 

By Katrina Caruso

Whether you’re in the middle of a job search or happily settled into a job, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for finding new opportunities, recruiting others, and making connections in your field. You shouldn’t simply use LinkedIn as a place to store your CV online and then forget about it—but that’s precisely what a lot of people do. Every day,  jobs in your field or industry are being posted to LinkedIn. Don’t let a not-so-great profile be what holds you back from finding that dream job. Here are some tips to take control of your LinkedIn profile and network.

Build a Profile that Tells Your Story
One of the most important parts of building a solid profile is to know what to write. Here’s what you should include:

  • Past education and current occupation and location are helpful to recruiters.
  • A current photograph, ideally, a headshot taken by a professional.
  • A short summary of who you are. This should be a paragraph or two outlining your work experience, skills, and interests. Imagine this as your “elevator pitch”: what do you say to folks when you’re introducing yourself and what you do?
  • A thoughtful LinkedIn headline. Avoid the typical “Insert Job Here” type of headline, and instead make a statement that shows that you’re more than just a “Marketing Strategist.”

Nurture Your Connections
Like Facebook, Linked is one of the social media. Be prepared to engage with your network. Share articles, comment on and like things that others share, and send congratulations about job anniversaries, other milestones, and new positions.

Don’t Copy Your CV Word for Word
Your LinkedIn shouldn’t be boring or stuffy; that’s perfectly appropriate for your CV, but your online profile can show off your personality. Write your profile in the first person to add a personal touch. Include experience relevant to the field in which you’re searching and try to cut down on the other stuff.

Make Yourself Searchable by Using Keywords
To do this, check out jobs on LinkedIn that interest you and see what keywords are used in the job descriptions, then make sure to use the relevant ones in your own summary.

Photo: iStock/Prykhodov.