Perfecting your LinkedIn profile

Perfecting your LinkedIn profile

Are you happy with your job? According to a user survey published on 18 November by professional network LinkedIn (which has 12 million members in India), two out of three Indians are satisfied with their current job. With 67% saying they are happy, India is actually the seventh most content country in the world workwise, according to the survey.

LinkedIn also asked what factors might motivate a change of job, and the top three reasons stated by Indians were: to get promoted, to work abroad, or to change industries.

In case you happen to be the third person in the group, the one who isn’t fully satisfied, LinkedIn is also a great place to start looking for something new. You can use the network to showcase your expertise by participating in groups, and answering questions about your area of expertise in LinkedIn Answers.

While 12 million have signed up on LinkedIn, the number of people using the service effectively in India remains small, and most simply use it to put up their CV, and then don’t return. To stand out and get results is easy, if you follow the nine tips below:

Write a personal tag line

In fact, it might be the only thing that people see of your profile, because it follows your name in search results. This means that if someone is looking to hire people with your kind of skills and experience, they’re going to see a list of names with those skills, and they’ll get to see the tag lines. An eye-catching phrase that reflects your professional personality and describes who you are at a glance, will go a long way.

Ask and answer questions

Stick to your field and establish your expertise to build social capital. People might have answers to your questions down the line, and if you have answered theirs, then they are more likely to help you.

Become a follower

While you’re on a company’s profile, you’ll also be able to see if anyone in your network works in that company or knows someone that works there (LinkedIn Company Profiles show both current and past employees of the company who are on LinkedIn). See if you uncover an inside connection at your dream employer.

Get the right recommendations

Customize each recommendation request with a personal note, and be sure to outline the projects, achievements and qualities you feel that person will recognize about you, to get a thoughtful response that will be useful when job hunting.

Keep a professional profile

Write up your credentials as if you were writing a cover letter. Double check the grammar and spellings before you post, and keep it current. At the same time, don’t cut and paste your resume. You’re connecting to a network of people, and you wouldn’t hand out your resume to people when you first meet them, so don’t do it here either.

Keep your updates focused

Showcasing a sense of humour is not a bad thing. But do it appropriately and better still in a way that relates to your work. While being robotic in a bid to maintain a formal tone is no good, neither is going too far in the opposite direction.

Let trusted contacts know you’re looking

Instead, use the messages service to send a private note to people you trust, like former co-workers and bosses, telling them about positions you are interested in.

Having a large and trusted network is the key, but telling the right people what you need is also important. Building that network to the point where you can send these messages is an area where some of the earlier activities, like Answers and participating in Groups, will come in handy.

Log in regularly

Don’t broadcast that you’re looking

Most updates and notifications from you can be made private, and this discretion is a large part of a passive job search. It might be best that you change settings to control who all are notified and ensure that these notifications are not reflected on your company’s profile.

The privacy settings offer different options, and can keep certain status updates from being mailed to everyone you know.

Illustrations by Raajan / Mint