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The Anatomy of a Successful LinkedIn Profile

November 18, 2014

Social media is quickly becoming the preferred recruiting tool for companies of all sizes. A 2013 poll of staffing companies found a whopping 97.3% used LinkedIn as a recruiting tool. Is your LinkedIn profile the best it can be? If you’re job hunting and considering joining LinkedIn, we’ve provided the anatomy of a good LinkedIn profile so you can start applying with confidence:

1. Completion is King.

An incomplete profile signals to a potential employer you may not be as detail-oriented as your cover letter says you are. Fill out all the fields you can and complete your profile prior to beginning your job search. Available fields include:
• Career summary
• Work experience
• Skills and expertise
• Volunteer experience and organizational involvement
• Educational summary
• Honors and awards received
• Interests
• Publications or published works
• Certifications

2. Add an appropriate, professional photo.

You don't have to be in a power suit, but make sure your photo is tasteful and current. Employers like to put a face to a name.

3. Take every opportunity to sell your accomplishments.

LinkedIn offers a number of ways you can share information about yourself. Use bullet points to detail your work experience, relevant associations and education. Provide hard data where applicable to demonstrate your success in previous positions. Even better? Show your work by uploading files or adding links instead of just describing it.

4. Include skills for LinkedIn search.

With the vast majority of companies using LinkedIn as a recruiting tool, it’s important your profile isn’t only complete and professional, but also findable. Ensure you’re highlighting searchable keywords in the skills section – examples for an event planner include “Event Management,” “Trade Shows,” “Meeting Planning” and “Contract Negotiation.”

5. Reputable, honest endorsements and recommendations.


LinkedIn's endorsements and recommendations are ways to acknowledge your skills and abilities. Endorsements are confirmations of your listed skills from the people, co-workers, clients and managers who know you best. The easiest, most feel-good way to garner new endorsements on your profile is to endorse others first. Scratch their back and hopefully they’ll scratch yours too.

Recommendations are essentially mini versions of the letters former colleagues or managers would provide for you. Because recommendations are more detailed and require additional thought, we suggest taking the time to think about who you would want to write your recommendation and asking them. Any colleague or manager you’ve had a positive relationship with in the past would make for a great LinkedIn reference.

6. Join groups, follow companies and take advantage of LinkedIn Pulse.

Joining and participating in relevant groups demonstrates you’re not only in the know, but you’re also actively engaged and interested in the latest happenings in your industry, making you a valuable asset for any company.

Take advantage of the phenomenal resources and professional education LinkedIn provides its members through LinkedIn Pulse. You can follow influencers like Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Arianna Huffington, or channels like “Big Ideas & Innovation” and publishers such as The New York Times.

7. Display your human side.

While LinkedIn’s purpose isn’t to display your latest vacation, you still want to include personal interests, volunteer experience and causes you care about. Who knows? Maybe the hiring manager also enjoys kayaking.

HR managers are using LinkedIn more than ever to find the right candidates, so make sure your profile is accurate, complete and eye-catching for the job you want.

Did you know that we’re hiring? Now that you have our best tips, connect with us on LinkedIn and get started in a rewarding career in Washington, Oregon, Utah and many more locations across the west.

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