I’m starting a series of articles regarding how to best use LinkedIn for your career search as well as managing your career. Every Thursday, I’ll pick a different topic to cover.
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Today I’m going to go over your profile box with your picture. This is one of the first places the recruiter looks because it provides your job title, a description of your current situation whether you’re working or not, a listing of the previous companies you’ve worked at and your education. It’s important that the information be clear so the recruiter can get a snapshot as to who you are.
I’ll walk you through each section of the profile box below using my own LinkedIn account as an example.
Here you want to put your first and last name. You don’t need to put your middle name or initial. I have my initial since my website uses my middle initial. Don’t use a pet name that your friends call you. If a recruiter is trying to locate you by your name, they won’t know your pet name.
Beneath your name you want to list the different job titles that are applicable to your skill sets. These are the job titles that recruiters will be searching for. You might think you only have one title but many jobs have different titles depending on the company. For example a software engineer can also be known as an application development engineer, software developer, software application developer, etc. If you don’t know some of the other titles, you can search the internet for jobs and see what other companies are calling the equivalent position.
Your Location and Category
Regarding your location, if you live in a suburb of a larger city and you would normally work in the city, select the city for your location. Recruiters will search for individuals who are willing to work in the city.
Regarding the category, select the one that best fits your profession.
Your current job is automatically pulled from what you list in the experience section. See below for what’s listed in my experience section. You can see how LinkedIn automatically pulls the information.
If you’re searching for another job then you want to list as your first company in the experience section a statement like: Currently seeking other opportunities. This statement will show in your profile box and a recruiter will know right away that you’re available. There are varying opinions regarding showing that you’re unemployed. My advice is to be clear about your availability. As a recruiter I appreciate the fact that you’re someone who can start work right away and that you don’t have to be convinced to leave a job.
LinkedIn will automatically pull these companies from your experience section. If you are a consultant or someone who has worked through temp agencies on assignment at a company, don’t use your consultant company name, or the temp agency name as the name of the company you’ve worked for. It reflects better on you if you use the name of the company where you were on assignment. In the experience section you can explain that you worked contract or that you have your own consulting company.
LinkedIn will automatically pull the name of the school that’s listed first when you enter your education. If you were to click on my education you would see that I have a MBA and BBA. I wanted the school where I received my MBA to be listed first since it’s in Colorado. Keep in mind what school you want to appear in your profile box if you’ve attended more than one school. For example, you might have attended a community college and obtained an associates’ degree and then completed your bachelors’ degree at another university. I would make sure that the school where you received your bachelors’ degree was reflected in your profile.
Your LinkedIn Address
Make sure that you edit your address to take out the numbers LinkedIn automatically assigns. You’ll want to make sure to copy this link and put it on your resume. It looks more professional if you customize your link to reflect your name only.
When you click on your contact information include as much information as you feel comfortable. At minimum you need to include your email address and a phone number where the recruiter can contact you.
Your Profile Picture
Finally it’s important to include a professional looking profile picture. It doesn’t need to be taken by a professional photographer, but if you’re looking for a job you want to present yourself in a professional manner.
Next Thursday I’ll cover what to include in Linked in the summary section and in the resume section.