Leverage LinkedIn for Professional Success (Special Guest Post)

Maggie Mistal Executive Coach NYCSocial Media sites like LinkedIn have changed the job landscape as more people are being “found” by recruiters and hiring managers using these tools.  

To shed light on how YOU can best leverage LinkedIn for personal success, I asked Miriam Salpeter, owner of Keppie Careers to share insights from her new book Social Networking for Career Success.  

In my book, Social Networking for Career Success, one of my mantras is that there is no one social network for all job seekers. Some people are more naturally talented writers, others may be terrific on video, and some people are great talkers, so a radio show may be good for them. (I am thrilled to include great tips in the book about how to succeed with your own radio show from Maggie. Of course, not everyone can have a show on SIRIUS, but podcasts and online options are available for the rest of us!)

Even though I don’t like to mandate social networks, I make one exception: LinkedIn is an absolute “must have” network for professionals and careerists. It has become the go-to network for recruiters and hiring managers seeking skilled professionals. Even if you don’t use any other social networking tools, make a point to create a strong, targeted profile on LinkedIn to help people who may be looking for someone with your skills and experience find you.

To maintain a complete LinkedIn profile, it’s important to include:

  • Your photo, preferably a close-up of your face, looking friendly and approachable.
  • A professional headline. This is not the same as a job title, although it may include a job title. It is what people will see when they look through lists of people on LinkedIn, so be sure to include key words describing you and what you offer. Include descriptions of your expertise as they relate to your target jobs. 
  • Personalize your LinkedIn URL by selecting “Edit Profile” and scrolling down to the LinkedIn URL for your public profile. Choose “Edit” and scroll down to your public profile URL. If possible, set this to include your first and last names (no space). If that is not available, consider including a middle initial, or even words related to your business. For example, “JohnSmithPR.”
  • Include your current position and at least two past positions, even if they were internships or relevant volunteer jobs.
  • Complete the education section.
  • Create an in-depth, personalized bio for the summary. Think about a story to hook the reader and make them want to know more about you.
  • Highlight your specialties by including them as a list of keywords or phrases. (Find the best keywords by reviewing job descriptions, company websites and blogs and industry publications and conference programs.)
  • Display at least three recommendations from employers (preferred) or colleagues.

Completing these steps will allow you to have a 100% complete profile, which helps people find you via LinkedIn for career opportunities.

Thank you Miriam!  

Read more about how to use LinkedIn in the free, downloadable chapter of Social Networking for Career Success.  I definitely recommend her entire book!  Copies are available from Amazon or your favorite bookseller.

–CNN named Miriam Salpeter a “top 10 job tweeter you should be following” and Monster.com included her in “The Monster 11 for 2011: Career Experts Who Can Help Your Search.”  She teaches job seekers and entrepreneurs how to leverage social media, writes resumes and helps clients succeed with their goals. Miriam writes for U.S. News & World Report’s “On Careers” column and blogs at KeppieCareers.com. 

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