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Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Your Career Search

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LinkedIn is listed as the number one social networking site for professionals. In fact, according to Bullhorn Reach, 97% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates, and 64% of recruiters only use LinkedIn for their recruiting needs. Information Technology, finance, manufacturing, healthcare, engineering, sales and administrative is among the top industries using recruiters to fill jobs on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn offers several resources to help with your job search. In order to make the best of your career hunt, make sure to take the time building your LinkedIn profile, add to your connections, and effectively use your connections.

Creating a profile on LinkedIn is simple. Once created, you’ll be able to connect, network, and job search. It is significant to take your time creating your profile, because the way you’re presented has everything to do with boosting your career. You might be the perfect candidate for a job opportunity, but if your LinkedIn profile isn’t optimized, recruiters won’t find you.

The biggest LinkedIn profile mistakes include:
- Not connecting to recruiters: Make sure that when you add your connections, recruiters in your desired industry and occupation are included as well.
- No profile picture: Make sure you post a clear, current and professional photograph of yourself as your profile picture.
- Boring, generic headline: LinkedIn is a great opportunity to present yourself creatively. Approach LinkedIn as your resume coming to life for all to see. Your headline is right at the top of the page, which is one of the first items someone sees when viewing your profile.
- Lack of correct keywords: Recruiters literally take seconds to view your profile or type in keywords to narrow down the right fit. Make sure to add several keywords that pertain to your desired career.
- Your profile isn’t public: Many people struggle with the idea of posting their information publically. If you are aggressively seeking employment however, you may want to consider publically posting your LinkedIn profile for recruiters to view. There are several privacy options.

In order to grow your network on LinkedIn, consider these three degrees of separation:
- 1st Degree: Coworkers, friends, colleagues, and others you connect with directly through invites.
- 2nd Degree: The people your 1st degree knows.
- 3rd Degree: Those connected to your 2nd degree connections.

Keep this in mind; LinkedIn is not about quality over quantity. Make sure to add individuals that will help your professional relationships leverage into career opportunities. Employers appreciate your connections, so make sure to be connected with people that will help make you look good.

In short, creating a LinkedIn profile that will optimize your career opportunities is important. In my next article, I will outline important items you may want to include in your LinkedIn profile. As always, happy job searching.

Follow me on Twitter for more updates @hr_missy

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