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Here’s Why You Need A Great LinkedIn Profile

Posted on: April 7th, 2015 by Laurie Luh

The truth is that in today’s social media savvy world, your online presence is just as important as your offline presence. Every job search that I have conducted in the past five years has been done on LinkedIn. If I’m at all interested in a candidate, I always check out their LinkedIn profile, even if I already have a resume in hand. Actually, I can’t remember the last time I hired someone that didn’t have a strong profile.

If you’re in the market for a new job you absolutely want to have an impressive, up-to-date LinkedIn profile. Not only is it free to search and apply for jobs on LinkedIn, but when you apply for those jobs, we’re going to check your LinkedIn profile. Even if you are content where you are, the perfect job with a better salary could be out there in the world and you just don’t know about it. If your experience matches the search that recruiters like me use on LinkedIn, you might find yourself with an offer that you don’t want to refuse.

Here are some simple guidelines to make sure you are digitally dressed to impress.

1) Picture Perfect – Studies show that a profile with a photo is looked at 14 more times than one without, so have a professional looking, clear headshot. A blurry photo or one with a beverage in your hand isn’t going to do the trick. You don’t have to pay for a professional headshot, but it shouldn’t look like you’re on vacation.

2) Headlines Count – Include the name of your company and your title, but also use buzzwords that describe the company and your job. If I’m looking for a Marketing Director who has worked at a Media Company and you’ve got those words in your profile, you’re more likely to come up in my search.

3) Connections Matter– With every connection, you have access to more jobs and more people. Plus, recruiters and hiring managers look at your number of connections, especially if your job touches the social media space (and most do today).

4) LinkedIn Is Your Online Resume – If it’s on your resume, it should be on your LinkedIn profile. That means that you should include all relevant experience, not just your current job. Also, definitely highlight volunteer work. It’s a place where you can show your interests, as well as exposing skills that aren’t in your work history.

5) Be Buzzword-y – It’s incredibly important to include buzzwords. You won’t come up in nearly as many recruiting searches if you don’t have those words in your experiences. Look at relevant job ads to make sure their keywords are all over your LinkedIn profile.

6) Be Active – Make connections frequently. Update your profile with new experiences and post articles that you’ve written or that you think are important, as it keeps you coming up in other people’s news feeds.

7) Be a Groupie – Groups are a great way to meet new people and find out about job openings. Don’t be afraid to sign up for groups in fields you are considering. It’s a free peek at new areas of interest and you never know where they will lead

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You Asked We Answered

Question: I've been out of work for a while. Do I take a job offer if the pay is awful?

Answer: Yes, taking a job, sometimes any job particularly if you have not worked in a while is good not only for your paycheck but for your mental health as you search for the job you really want. There is no shame in accepting work for honest pay. You are in transition and you need to remind yourself of that and not feel bad if the job you have now or are considering isn't willing to pay you what you are worth. There will be a job out there that will and you need to use all of your resources available including interim work to realize your goals. Taking a low paying job in the meantime may bruise your ego but it won't kill your pride or your wallet.