Q: I was told that I need to establish presence on LinkedIn. This advice was from a career counselor. Do you agree? I have a profile, but it is limited. What is the point? My resume looks good.
A: I should tell you I have a few addictions. One is coffee, but a close second is LinkedIn. Truly. When we conduct a search for candidates, LinkedIn is one of our “go-to” tools. There are a few reasons that you need to work on developing a robust LinkedIn profile. First, you will get found. Many hiring managers, recruiters and talent acquisition professionals are using LinkedIn every day searching for candidates. They may be entering specific searchable criteria to find a strong slate of candidates. They may be looking in a geographic region or looking for a competitor’s name in a candidate’s profile. Your profile needs to include a lot of relevant information about our background and your career. If you have a “thin” profile, you are less likely to be found in one of these searches. Additionally, hiring professionals will want to visit your profile, even if you have a great resume. A great resume is important. A strong and complete LinkedIn profile is another piece of the puzzle. You may even hear others say “Did you check that candidate out on LinkedIn?” Your resume should also align with your LinkedIn profile. Keep your resume and your LinkedIn profile up to date. Personally, I review my resume, my bio and my LinkedIn profile every January to ensure they are both current.
What do I expect your LinkedIn profile to include?
- A professional photo. Most phones now can take a decent pic and this can sometimes be used on your LinkedIn profile.
- A summary of who you are as a professional.
- Some endorsements and recommendations, though I don’t give as much weight to these as others may.
- A copy of your resume if you are actively and openly seeking a new role.
- A snapshot of your career progression.
Finally, take a few minutes and google “customize my LinkedIn URL.” Many candidates use the URL that LinkedIn assigns them, even though it is a mumbo jumbo of characters. You can customize it for a cleaner, more professional appearance. I also recommend it be added to the top of your resume, as a key piece of your contact information.
Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.