Are you LinkedIn?

“Let the world know who you are and the right people will find you.” This was the sage advice from Matthew Levy, the speaker at the library’s most recent Tuesday Networking Breakfast. A job coach with more than two decades experience “on both sides of the desk,” Levy offered insightful and useful information about using the professional social media site LinkedIn. Highlights of his talk included how to use LinkedIn to easily be found, show expertise in a particular subject, maintain professional connections and build a personal network. At the end of the talk, he also shared with us a highly recommended SEO service that might be of help if you are creating a website.

One of Levy’s main tips was how important it is to incude your photograph in your LinkedIn profile. Including a photograph has become a cultural norm on social media sites, and doing so will help you get the most from your profile. Just be sure it projects you as an inviting, open-minded person who is willing to connect. An image that’s too formal will limit this effect.

Your headline is key to letting the LinkedIn world know who you are. This is the space to tell what you’ve been doing but not the place to post your current job. Use a lot of key words, especially those you find in ads from recruiters’ web sites. Be sure to finish with the phrase “with an expertise in” and list your most valuable skill.

Choosing the correct location in your profile is crucial, Levy said. Recruiters filter off of this field to find people in a particular area. In the Princeton area that could be either Philadelphia or New York. Take the time to analyze which area is best for you.

The same applies when listing your industry. Be sure to choose the one that describes where you want to be. A good way to decide is to search for profiles of people who you admire in your field and use the same industry that they do.

Always use all the character space LinkedIn provides; be authentic and sincere; and connect with as many people as possiible. Tell your story while weaving in key words to help recruiters find you.

Once you have your profile at its optimal level, be sure to contribute to the LinkedIn society. Remember to post status updates and make comments. Ask for recommendations. Join the LinkedIn groups and use personalization that goes beyond the generic “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

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