With over 1 million members, LinkedIn is a growing professional networking site used by companies, hiring managers, job seekers and those currently employed as a way of making connections, gathering information and following trends. Gabriella Calzolari, director of recruitment and selection at Northwest Mutual, gave workshop attendees a good overview of how to use the site to your maximum advantage.
By joining an industry, alumni or common interest group, you can easily make multiple connections and learn what your peers and their organizations are involved in. Your LinkedIn profile should not be an exact copy of your resume; instead, Gabriella suggested listing your top five strengths for which you want to be recognized. Asking for and giving endorsements of skills helps to boost your profile as well.
Other tips that Gabriella offered were to be anonymous when looking at employers' profiles, reorder the way in which others will view your own profile, and include a professional head shot so you'll be more recognizable. Also, be sure to include nicknames, previous names and alternate spellings of your name(s) to make it easier for people to find you. For job seekers, she noted that it's a good idea to include your status in your title so that recruiters and potential employers will be aware of your availability. Some companies have even made it possible to apply for a position directly from LinkedIn, a time-saving and easy shortcut to the often cumbersome on-line application process.
As for formatting, bullets make your profile easier to read. Don't make it too long, and list your accomplishments instead of your duties and responsibilities. You can also post articles and quotes to make your profile more interesting.
Finally, Gabriella recommended following companies and people you admire, and looking at the LinkedIn pages of employers. She concluded her presentation by answering questions and offering one-on-one help to those who would like it.
Posted by Cynthia Carlson