How Good is Your LinkedIn Profile?

We had a CEO of a local community bank in the Career Development Center today conducting interviews for an internship position. One of the first pieces of feedback he told me in regards to the students that applied was that he looked for them on LinkedIn, but didn’t find much there. Mr. CEO went on to point out that LinkedIn is one of the first sites he visits everyday, and that students that want to be seen by potential employers NEED to be on there.

Mr. CEO makes a great point. As of September 30, 2012 LinkedIn counted 187 million users in over 200 countries around the world. Their rate of growth is truly staggering – it is estimated that two new users are signing up PER SECOND! Think about that. 187 million users, growing rapidly, and almost all of them are there to find a job, find an employee, or locate a business opportunity. This basic math alone makes it imperative to be a part of the professional networking community that is LinkedIn.

For those of you reading this, are you already on LinkedIn? If so, how good is your profile? Is it accurately portraying your skills, experience, and potential value? Does it impress whomever is looking at it? I did a quick look through the profiles of the 164 members of the University of New Haven Career Connect group on LinkedIn. Many of them needed work.

Here are 10 tips to get started on improving your profile, and therefore, your opportunities:

Brand Yourself – Regularly update your profile with benchmark accomplishments, use a current photo, and create a compelling headline.

Stand Out – The 10 most overused words found in LinkedIn profiles: innovative, motivated, results-oriented, dynamic, proven track record, team player, fast-paced, problem solver, entrepreneurial. Grab your thesaurus and expand your vocabulary and your connections by creating a unique profile

Be Seen – Increase your profile’s visibility by selecting “full view” and use keywords specific to your industry.

Recommend and Be Recommended – LinkedIn makes it easy to do both. Only recommend people that you’ve actually worked with in the past or present.

Become a Groupie – Join at least ten to twelve industry groups or start a group and engage regularly with your industry peers.

Get Customized – Personalize your URL and use keywords in your public profile.

Produce Content – Post original content from your company including press releases, articles, and white papers. If not employed, create your own content related to the industry in which you aspire.

Get Buzzed – Check out LinkedIn’s Company Buzz and see what people are saying about your company or a company you would like to work for. Being knowledgeable about your company or your career industry is highly valued.

Add Apps – LinkedIn apps allow you to upload WordPress blog posts, create polls, and present your work to a large audience of professionals.

Do you have any tips for fellow group members on how to make a winning profile?



Matt Caporale
MCaporale@newhaven.edu

Executive Director
UNH Career Development Center

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