Are You LinkedIn Optimized?

This post comes from Shana Lebowitz at our partner site LearnVest.


What if you had the chance to impress 277 million professionals at once—convincing them you’re exactly what each of their organizations is missing?

As it turns out, you already have that opportunity on LinkedIn. According to a 2013 Jobvite survey, 96% of recruiters use the professional networking site to search for potential hires. Yet many job seekers are unaware of the profile features that could land—or cost—them the job.

The most important thing to remember is to make your LinkedIn profile public, Jenny Foss, president of the Ladder Recruiting Group, told MarketWatch.

Next, your bio is a key part of your profile, so make sure to include your current job title, industry and location, says Nicole Greenberg Strecker, managing director of recruitment agency STA Worldwide.

Even the seemingly small details of your profile are significant. If you’re aiming to work in a specific city, use that area (instead of where you actually live) as your location. And make sure your job title reflects exactly what you do, Jeremy Roberts, editor of Sourcecon, a blog and conference series for recruiters, told MarketWatch. A title that reads, “Blogs and Features Editor” is preferable to one that simply says, “Editor.”

Just like where you sit in the high school cafeteria, the groups you join on LinkedIn say a lot about you. Particularly if you’re looking to switch fields, join industry groups and blogs, as that’s where employers will be searching. And when it comes to getting feedback from your peers, recommendations from people you’ve actually worked with are much more meaningful than endorsements from acquaintances.

If you’ve mastered these tips, double-check your profile to make sure you aren’t committing some other common LinkedIn faux pas, like forgetting to add a photo or using the default connection request.

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