LinkedIn is known as the online hub that allows users to quickly connect with people of various career fields on a professional level. Instantly notifying hundreds and, in some cases thousands, of professionals about your latest promotion, employment status and career accomplishment, LinkedIn is an excellent job searching tool for professionals looking for employment and hiring managers looking for new talent.
Forbes.com spoke with Krista Canfield, a former senior manager of communications at LinkedIn, on the essentials of putting together a great profile and making the most of it. Below are the tips she offered.
1. Customize your URL. When you create a LinkedIn profile you will be assigned a web address, but you can create your own URL. Put your cursor over the “Profile” at the top of the homepage and select “Edit Profile.” Click the little wheel to the right of the URL link under your profile photo. This will bring you to a page where you can edit your URL. Try using your first and last name, with no spaces, and then other variants of your name. This will drive your LinkedIn page up toward the top of a Google search.
2. Write a concise, detailed summary of your career. Shoot for 100-300 words and try to tell a compelling story about yourself that includes specifics and quantifiable achievements.
3. Flesh out the experience section. This is your chance to write an online résumé. Stray away from only including details about your current job and take the time to list specific positions that helped to build your career.
4. List your skills. This section offers a shorthand way to tell employers what you can do and gives your connections the chance to endorse you for each skill.
5. Get at least five recommendations. Ask your boss, former boss or colleague to write something glowing about you as a professional. It’s okay to offer to write the recommendation yourself and then invite the person to vet and post it.
6. Add websites that showcase your work. Include your employer’s site, your personal site if you have one, and links to samples of your work.
7. Connect, connect, connect. Beef up your roster of connections. When you invite people to connect, always send a brief personal note.