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How to Create a LinkedIn Profile That Gets an Employer's Attention

April 17, 2015 Career Services, General 0 Comments

Gone are the days when the only marketing tool you needed to find a job was a strong resume. According to a Forbes survey, 97.3 percent of companies now use LinkedIn to recruit and vet job candidates. Your LinkedIn profile has surpassed a resume as one of the most important tools you have, so it's crucial that you know how to create a LinkedIn profile that will position you to land the job you want.

How to Create a LinkedIn Profile That Gets an Employer's AttentionDo Your Research

It takes time, research and preparation to create a compelling LinkedIn profile. Whether you're graduating or changing careers or companies, clarify your work goal. Then, research the organizations and people who hire in the field or position you're interested in. When creating your profile, your goal is your target and these professionals are your target audience.

Tips for Creating a High-Quality Profile

Start by using Google's free keyword planner tool to identify the most commonly searched words in your field. Use keywords in both your headline and summary to help recruiters and employers find you more easily. For instance, a graphic design student who is about to graduate might include "junior graphic designer" or "site design" in his or her profile.

Complete your profile in its entirety, and always include an up-to-date professional photo of yourself. According to Linkedinsights, a thorough profile is 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.

Create a powerful headline. Your headline relays your area of expertise, the benefits you provide and any evidence to support both. For example, a medical office manager might state, "Medical office manager who keeps organization running smoothly and effectively, certified medical manager (CMM)."

Spend time on your summary section. There is a reason LinkedIn provides this unique section: It's an important first impression of who you are, your professionalism, your personality and how well you write. Weave a story of your work experience and accomplishments that includes keywords, and align your voice to the industry you're pursuing. A creative director and financial analyst will have very different tones in this section. If you're just starting out or changing careers, focus on transferable skills. For example, relay your excellent research skills and how they benefited past employers to show how you can provide value in a new field.

Create or include published media. If that doesn't necessarily apply to your field, publish on a topic related to your industry on LinkedIn's platform. This shows potential employers your level of expertise and interest in your chosen field.

Take the 'FAB' Approach

"FAB" is an easy-to-remember acronym for the essential components every LinkedIn profile has:

  • Facts: In the "Experience" section, always use numbers and facts to support your accomplishments. If you had six consecutive months of higher-than-average sales as the manager of your retail store, highlight this. Facts are the most powerful way to show an employer you will be an asset.
  • Accomplishments: Everyone knows to list an award or major accomplishment, but if you're just starting out, you might note that you worked full time while graduating with a high GPA. Accomplishments not only show your ability to achieve, but are an opportunity to show your work ethic, too.
  • Be Transparent: It's not worth it to leave dates or work experience off your profile. Show how the skills you gained can benefit an employer. The best job fit is one where you start by representing yourself genuinely and in the best light.

Seek Out Recommendations and Quality Connections

Degrees of Transition provides an excellent resource on how to approach colleagues and supervisors to get the best recommendations. Once your profile is complete, seek out relevant, high-quality connections in your field of interest. Recruiters and hiring managers will consider a great candidate with the right industry connections over one without them.

When it comes to learning how to create a LinkedIn profile, daily engagement, thoughtfulness and research pays off.

Photo credit: Flickr

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