Most of us have LinkedIn profiles, even if we don't know exactly why we're on the service. How do you actually put the site to use and how much information about yourself should you offer?
Image adapted from Mascha Tace (Shutterstock)
Here to help us figure out how to optimise our LinkedIn profiles and put the service to work is Donna Svei. Donna is an experienced resume writer, executive recruiter, and career blogger at AvidCareerist.
LinkedIn has a project section. How should a person best utilise this in a way that employers will want to see? Should it be generic summaries like "upgraded 1500 systems to Windows 7" or more detailed?
I would use it to highlight the knowledge, skills, and abilities you know employers want to see. Put your best projects and your keywords in there.
Be careful though about naming project partners. You should have their permission and you should think twice about referencing them if they would be competition for jobs you want. Recruiters look in the projects section for names of other possible candidates.
I keep my profile up to date and have a few recruiters as connections. Do you have any recommendations help on the visibility of a profile? I am currently employed but I am open to other opportunities.
I addressed this in a recent blog post. A premium account can be tagged to "open" so that any LinkedIn member can view it and message you. It's worth the price if you want to be visible. You can also participate in groups to be visible.
I'm getting a big personal lesson in visibility right now. I was tweaking my profile for LinkedIn SEO on Saturday night. I inadvertently left the "notify my network" button on while I changed some job titles. So far, I've had 200+ likes and 100+ profile views. That's clearly a way to get top of mind with your network!
What is the best way to use LinkedIn Groups? I thought they were for collaboration, but a lot of the groups I belong to have 5-10 people who are just promoting themselves.
I know there’s a lot of advice about using them but I have yet to find a group that’s productive for me. I belong to a terrific group about LinkedIn on Google+ (oh, the irony), and two professional groups on Facebook that I love. I’m trending to Facebook for group participation because so many people go there every day that it’s easy for them to participate.
Ask your colleagues and friends if they belong to any social media groups they find useful for your needs. Don’t limit them to LinkedIn for giving you ideas.
I’m not looking for a job right now (knock on wood). Is it still important to keep my profile accurate and up to date?
Yes. Why? Because you might be looking for a job in the future and LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to build relationships now so you will have them if you need them in the future. You can think of your network as a job search investment account.
I work in the media industry at the moment, but the job ends in May, and I’m applying fr a bunch of different things. I have resumes and cover letters geared toward those individual jobs, but how do I keep my LinkedIn relevant for those jobs while not looking like I have a multiple personalities disorder?
This is one of the toughest questions about LinkedIn. One approach is to pick the field you’re most interested in and optimise for it. Another approach is to change your profile as you apply to different positions.
Another approach is to find a common theme. You could build around research, ability to organise information and present it in various formats, web knowledge, communications, and so on. Find your storyline and write to it.