Perhaps you already know about the key importance of LinkedIn to professionals, as members of the Membership Career Services Committee [PFItemLinkShortcode|id:21891|type:standard|anchorText:discussed this in the August EXPLORER|cssClass:|title:See August Issue Article|PFItemLinkShortcode].
This month we want to dive deeper and offer some tips on how to utilize and leverage various tools and functionalities within LinkedIn to optimize your profile and elevate your visibility far and beyond your immediate network for potential career opportunities.
♦ Optimize your “Account and Settings.”
You can access this by hovering your cursor on your head shot located at the top right hand side of your LinkedIn page. And then:
- Job Posting/Manage: Build a profile for a dream job by completing the Job template. This will enable recruiters to easily match you with relevant job openings.
- Privacy and Settings: As an active job seeker, it is important to pay special attention to this section of LinkedIn. This is where you control who sees your profile, what updates you want people to see, who can search for you by your contact information, type of communication received and the frequency you may like to receive them from LinkedIn or individuals.
- Communication: Here, you want to ensure you activate email alerts for pertinent information – especially about job openings. To do this, go to, Settings/Communication/Types of Messages you are willing to receive/check “Career opportunities,” “Expertise requests,” “Consulting offers,” “Business deals,” and “Job inquiries.”
♦ Leverage the ability to add visual examples to promote your profile.
Images and/or documents provide a visual appeal and will make your profile stand out from the rest. To add media samples to the Summary, Education and Experience sections on your profile:
- Click on Profile at the top of your home page and select Edit Profile. Scroll down to the section where you want to add a sample and move your cursor over the add media icon.
- Select Upload File if you would like to display the media sample on your profile, or select Add Link if you want to link to content that exists on another web site.
If you choose to add a link, type or paste the link to your content into the Add a link field.
If you chose to upload a file, select the file from your computer. A picture of your file will display with pre-filled Title and Description fields.
You can customize these fields. Here are the acceptable file formats: Documents: .pdf, .doc, .docx, .rtf and .odt. Images: .png, .gif, .jpg and .jpeg and Presentations: .pdf, .ppt, .pps, .pptx, .ppsx, .pot, .potx and .odp. File size should not exceed 100 MB.
- Click Save. An update will appear on the home pages of your network, letting others know you added the media file or link unless you have this feature turned off.
♦ Optional Sections.
Take advantage of the optional sections to showcase your Awards, Honors, Certifications, Publications, Patents, Projects, Volunteer Experience, Organizations and any particular causes you may care about. This will certainly stand you out in the crowd. This is accessed via the profile/edit profile/add a section to your profile.
♦ Test your profile “findability.”
Do a search on some of the key words you have highlighted on your profile plus your geographic location to see how easy or difficult to find you by recruiters. If your profile does not appear on the first few hits or pages you may need to optimize your profile even further.
Finally, always remember that authenticity is far better than findability – be original and credible in your profile representation.
Good luck with finding great opportunities.
Editor’s note: Ogunmola is a member of the AAPG Membership Career Services Committee.