Linkedin for your job search

A well-written resume aligned properly with your career goals will enhance your chances of getting interviews. It should demonstrate your skills, achievements, and what you potentially offer a company in a concise and influential manner.

Developing an effective online LinkedIn profile is also an important aspect to your job search – and key to your career success. It’s essential to have an updated profile while you’re on the job hunt, and it should be kept current as you progress along your career path … even while you’re happily employed.

Your resume should work WITH your LinkedIn profile – and vice versa. When done right, the combination will make you stand out among other candidates in competition for a position.

LinkedIn is a professional social networking tool that reaches far beyond a simple job board. Use it to:

1) Connect directly with peers and mentors
2) Increase your visibility with recruiters and hiring managers
3) Follow companies in your industry and keep tabs on companies you admire
4) Communicate with other like-minded individuals and thought leaders
5) Increase awareness of conferences, webinars, meetups and other means to improve your professional skill set
6) And, of course, search for jobs

A powerful resume enhanced with a tailored LinkedIn profile is a surefire way to convince employers that you are the best candidate.

What makes your LinkedIn profile stand out? Here are a few tips.

What’s In a Headline?

Most sections within your LinkedIn profile have character limitations – make every word count! The LinkedIn Headline allows 120 characters, and it should be a brief powerful statement that tells YOUR professional story.

Focus on YOU – and use keywords showcasing your industry expertise or personal branding. By default this section is set to your current job title and company name … change it!

Decide how to best position yourself; list keywords, job titles, or use a branding statement. For instance:

Example A: Restructuring & Turnaround Consultant with expert analytical skills delivering improvements in operations & performance (119 characters)

Example B: Accounting Professional | Financial Reporting, Analysis, Forecasting, Budgeting, Staff Management & Leadership Skills (117 characters)

The headline on your resume is also a demonstration of your branding and positioning. While it’s a bit different from your LinkedIn profile headline and you have more leeway with length – and no character limits – you should still keep it brief!

Also, you shouldn’t necessarily use it the exact same way as your LinkedIn headline. For instance, Example A would be enticing on your resume; Example B would not. Use a concise phrase on your resume that showcases your value, and the potential you bring to a company.

Tell Your Story

Your LinkedIn Summary allows 2,000 characters – use it wisely! What’s great about this section is it can be developed in various ways to display your personality. For instance, you can write from the first person perspective, which is something you should NEVER do on your resume.

Fill it with keyword-rich statements. Paint a picture of your career story by demonstrating your achievements and job success. Format it to optimize readability; paragraphs should be no more than 3-5 lines, and include bullet points no longer than 2 lines. For example:

As an intuitive Business Operations Professional, I use my strong abilities to quickly evaluate the big picture and determine strategic resolutions to drive positive bottom-line results. I’ve used my extensive project planning and management abilities to develop and deliver innovative solutions … including when I:

** RESTRUCTURED printing and production schedules for a small publishing firm, and assisted with the launch of The Manager News as a new publication which provided an annual revenue stream of $75K+

I’ve demonstrated initiative and added value to my employers by advising on business operational opportunities to ensure procedures aligned with company objectives. My effective planning and execution has contributed to an increase in savings and a decline in expenses … including when I:

** DEVELOPED in-depth plans and methods and delivered strategic implementations which reduced company operating expenses by $125K

As an operations manager, I constantly look for new ways to streamline procedures and provide improved process management. I’ve consistently executed successful enhancements and tactical project plans … as shown when I was:

** AWARDED the “Excellence in Service & Operations Award” for refining invoicing practices by developing an efficient system in Excel, and applying new procedures to track client accounts

I’m regularly recognized by peers as an adaptable and dependable leader, and known for developing strategies to obtain positive outcomes in various situations. In fact, colleagues request my expertise when faced with challenging tasks to help them deliver seamless business operations.

I’ve progressed through my career as someone who always looks to add value, contribute positively to the bottom-line, and deliver process improvements … while demonstrating myself as a successful leader and hands-on manager. (1,848 characters)

The summary on your resume should also highlight your qualifications, value, and potential you bring to a future employer. Showcase your strengths and what makes you unique as a candidate. You don’t have character limits, but keep it concise and written in paragraph form no longer than 3-5 lines. For example:

Business Operations Professional with strong abilities to quickly evaluate the big picture and deliver strategic resolutions to drive positive bottom-line results. Dependable leader consistently recognized by peers for successful process enhancements and tactical project planning and development. Demonstrated initiative by advising on business operational opportunities to ensure procedures aligned with company objectives; added value to employers by executing implementations which reduced expenses.

Your LinkedIn profile should be a complement to your resume, not a replica. Don’t simply copy and paste your resume content into your profile; expand and do more with it to enhance your professional brand, and provide more depth into your unique skills.

The combination of a well-crafted resume along with a tailored LinkedIn profile will put you head and heels above other job candidates, and make a better impression than individuals in your field without it. I hope you can use these tips to boost your brand on your own resume and online profile!

For more on using social media in your job search, click here! To learn from a LinkedIn expert, meet Jeff Zelaya… finally, did you win a Linkie?

photo credit: A Name Like Shields Can Make You Defensive via photopin cc

Read more: Is LinkedIn Becoming Just Another Resume Site?