Your headline, located just beneath your name, is set by default to populate this field by grabbing your most recent job title, which isn't always in your best interest. This is the first thing people will see when visiting your page and as always first impressions are often the most important. Since you can only make one first impression, this message needs to be clear succinct, meaningful and tell people what you are about. Use one or at most two of your top keywords in your headline.
5. Let Your Personality Shine
Your "Profile Summary" is where you can show a bit of personality. Some people copy and paste their cover letter into this section; others use their resume summary. According to Zukow that's not enough, he recommends adding as much relevant data as needed. Your job here is to get readers to take notice and compel them to want to know more about you. Include your accomplishments, your experience and technological prowess. You have 2000 characters here--make them count. Use them all if necessary and sprinkle in keywords where possible. There are many samples available with a simple Google search.
6. Build Your Connections and Connect With Groups
Get out there with the people in your field and interact--that's what social networking is all about. That doesn't mean "connect" with every person, targeting the right people is paramount to your success. Be selective and choose respected colleagues, industry experts, potential clients and the people they work with and so on. In an article from Forbes.com entitled, Recruiters Say: Avoid LinkedIn At Your Peril, Kathleen Yazbak, partner at Executive search firm, Bridgespan Group, had this to say, "using LinkedIn to be strategic about expanding your network is just plain smart."
Involve yourself in a group or two relevant to the position you would like to be in. Groups are found in the top navigation bar and are easy to use. LinkedIn has recommended one's available. These are located in the top navigation--click Groups and then, Groups You May Like. To search on your own click on Groups and then Groups Directory. There are, at the time of this article, 1418650 results or groups. Use the filters in the left column to drill down to the groups that interest you.
Add content to groups when possible and contribute to ongoing conversations. Doing so will not only help you learn more, it will also help you network with people that could potentially hire or recommend you down the road. Which leads us to number 7...
7. Get Recommendations
Just like letters of recommendation are an important part of the hiring process, recommendations are a key characteristic of your LinkedIn profile. Recommendations from former bosses, co-workers and colleagues can go a long way when employers are looking through profiles. All too often, two individuals with the same credentials could potentially boil down to who has better recommendations.
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