There are 259 million LinkedIn users and if you’re not one of them your missing out!

With all of the dynamic changes we’ve seen in employment the last few years, it has become imperative that you have and properly maintain a LinkedIn account.  This applies to both job seekers and the gainfully employed.  It’s important to remember that recruiters and hiring managers are using LinkedIn and other social networks to evaluate how well you fit that dream position you applied for.  If your profile is nonexistent or inaccurate that can reflect negatively upon you.

Whether you’re late to the game or simply need to refresh your stale profile, here are 5 steps to put you on the right path to proper business networking.

  1. Use a well cropped professional looking profile picture. This has been proclaimed thousands of times, but still some people overlook this key part of their profile.  Your profile helps the hiring manager formulate a first impression long before they ever meet you.  If they believe you are unprofessional from your profile, then you are at a grave disadvantage long before the interview.
  2. Distinguish yourself.  Make the most of your headline.  Think of it as your 10 second elevator pitch for yourself.  Be honest and avoid embellishing, but this your time to sing your praises and make the hiring manager want you on their team.
  3. Get more recommendations. If you have 1 or 100 recommendations, you can always use one more that is current. The right recommendations from your manager, subordinates, and clients can make all the difference in the world to hiring managers.
  4. Make your summary SEO friendly. This fringes on the technical side of things, but it’s vital to helping recruiters and hiring managers find you.  It’s good to say that you’re a paralegal, but it’s great to say you are a Real Estate Paralegal with 7 years experience at a major law firm.  You want to use the keywords that others will be searching for.  This way you’re less likely to miss out on some of the great career opportunities available.
  5. Wash, Rinse Repeat. Don’t let your profile on any social network get stale. Check it multiple times a week. Don’t be like the average LinkedIn user that logs in every three weeks.  If you’re currently searching for work, stop what you’re doing and get your profile back to A+ status.

Remember, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is today!  Don’t waste another minute, you’ll be amazed at how much you can improve your profile in just 30 minutes.

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