Using LinkedIn to Reel In Recruiters
Social networking sites. They're all the same. Slap up a goofy profile pic, add some personal information, make a few connections. Good to go, right?
Nope. Pull that on LinkedIn and you'll end up working at Uncle Slappy's Fishstick Emporium. When it comes to your professional online identity, you'll need to be a little more refined.
Just as you use Facebook to see which friend's doing what, you can use LinkedIn to see who's hiring who. But before you rub cyber elbows with valuable networking contacts and hiring managers, you need to put some shine on your profile. We spoke with Lewis Howes, author of LinkedWorking, to learn a few tricks to help lure recruiters.
LinkedIn says that you're 40 times more likely to turn up in a search if your profile is fully complete. Before you start networking, make sure all the components of your profile, such as the photo and recommendations, are in order, so it reads "100% profile completeness".
Fly Under the Radar
Unbeknownst to some users, LinkedIn allows you to see who has viewed your profile. If you're browsing multiple profiles, you may want to turn this feature off. To do so, go to the homepage and click into "Who's viewed my profile?" in the right column. Then click "Edit Visibility Settings" and select "Don't show users that I've viewed their profile." Voilá, you're hidden!
Start a Group
Not only do you want to join groups, but you should consider starting a group as well. Use your background at school as a starting point: For example, create the "NYU Women Accountants" group, or "The Campus Gazette Alumni" group. Being the owner of a group raises your visibility, says Howes. Anytime someone joins it, they see your name and website.
Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn lets you create a custom URL, such as LinkedIn.com/JaneDoe. Custom URLs are easier to remember, look better in an email signature, and increase your profile's rank in search results when people Google your name.
Create a Compelling Headline
Your name and current position take up prime real estate at the top of your profile. If you're unemployed, take advantage of the opportunity to create something catchy to take your position's place. Instead of putting "Looking for Design Internship," Howes suggests stating your specialty, like "Graphic Designer Specializing in Logos." You'll come off more focused and professional.
Keep your LinkedIn profile pic professional. That means no shots of you playing beer pong or on the beach in Jamaica. If you're in a Greek organization, consider using a picture from its composite, or if your school offers senior photos, take the opportunity to get a professional headshot you can use for years to come.
This article is from the spring 2010 issue of Jungle Campus.