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Apr 4th

Making LinkedIn work better for you

How much mileage are you getting out of LinkedIn? Is it working for you, in terms of new job leads, recruiter calls and so on, or is your profile just sitting there, gathering dust?

Having a profile on LinkedIn doesn’t automatically open doors for you. While having a passive presence might have set you apart a couple of years ago (when LinkedIn was less popular) there are now some very good reasons to revisit and revamp your profile.

1. Potential employers will look you up

Your LI profile is very often the first thing that comes up in a Google search of your name. Make sure that what people find puts you in the best possible light.

Be particularly careful about embellishing aspects of your past. Don’t overstretch the truth, inflate previous job titles, or make claims you can’t prove. An interesting post by Greg Savage covered this recently – well worth a read.

Make sure all the details and dates on both your profile and CV match.

2. New search priorities

The new Google algorithm flagged up by TribePad (and tweeted by @AndyHeadworth) reveals that content will become more important than SEO.

What this means is that if you’ve stuffed your LinkedIn profile full of industry keywords in the hopes that you come up high on a search for those keywords, you’re going to have to change it all back to readable English. The new Googlebots (the engines that trawl through pages to find matches) are now looking for synonyms and words in context.

Check your profile and make sure it reads well. Vary what you write – don’t just keep repeating the same words. Write whole sentences, using I, for example. Tell a story in your summary section and make it interesting. Save the keywords for your skills and expertise section.

3. Network!

Far more than just a place to post your CV, LinkedIn offers you unparalleled access to key players in your industry. Join the relevant groups, then take part in discussions. Delete yourself from any groups populated by spammers (or set the digest feature to weekly rather than daily) and then concentrate on building and maintaining connections. As few members of any online community ever participate, you’ll stand out if you do.

Comments: 2

  • Daniel Jude Gennis July 4th, 2012

    My LinkedIn account and profile is complete which oddly something many people have overlooked for some strange reason. My area of weakness is I don’t always get involved in the various debates going in the groups I am a member of. Will have to change that.

  • Clare July 4th, 2012

    LinkedIn groups are a great way of building your visibility. Often the groups are dominated by a small percentage of people, so participation definitely helps. If you’re getting overlooked by recruiters, it could be that other things are missing. Keywords? Your skills section? Are you updating frequently with status updates?

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