Well first things first, you need to create a LinkedIn account. It is free and easy at http://www.linkedin.com
The next step is to have your profile be at an “All-Star” level. To do this you will need to insert information for your skills, location, education, a summary, your current or past positions, a profile picture, and your industry.
I know it sounds like a lot of information all at once but your LinkedIn is your online resume so think of it like this, if it is on your resume it needs to be on LinkedIn.
Next we will look at your summary. The summary should show key accomplishments or skills that you want to show off. A recruiter will not sit and look at your profile for ten minutes, so show them what you got right in the summary to keep them interested.
Moving on to your profile picture. This is not Facebook. The funny meme or a picture with your dog will not work. Recruiters will see this and not even click on your profile. You want to show that you are professional! Make sure your picture is clear and easy to see.
When including your experience on your profile do not leave anything out. When it asks for dates, put them. When it asks for a description, list it. If you have documents supporting your skills and work that you have done, you can easily upload them to each section. Again, this is an online resume and recruiters use LinkedIn more and more each day.
Lastly we will talk about an important section to LinkedIn that many people do not use. The features skills and endorsements section allows you to list your skills that you feel you are proficient in and other members on LinkedIn that have worked with you or have seen your work can “like” your skill and endorse you.
LinkedIn is an important aspect to your transition and can help you in your job search. There is a lot to add to your profile and a lot to keep up with but if you follow this LinkedIn 101 you will be off to a great start. Let’s review on what we need to work on when starting our profile:
- Your LinkedIn account and resume should match
- Your summary should only include bullet point information of key skills and accomplishments
- Have a clear and professional profile picture
- Include your experience and important details
- Include a featured skills section