Are You Getting The Most Out Of LinkedIn?

By Chris O’Leary, Loss Prevention Recruiters Published LP Magazine Newsletter May 24, 2012

By now most of you are familiar with LinkedIn the professional social network which has amazingly surpassed 150 million users recently. Some might say that it has turned into a job hunting social network but either way it has become the number one professional resource for networking, staying in touch with former co-workers, benchmarking, searching for jobs or posting jobs and it is free!

I joined in 2007, four years after it had launched and became a business customer with an annual fee, but for those of you who are simply getting your names out there and networking, utilizing the free service makes the most sense.

Unfortunately as much of a terrific resource LinkedIn is and can be there are way too many users who do not utilize this free service to its maximum potential. As a result you could be missing out on a lot, especially if your goal is to market yourself and be discovered for your next career move.

Company in-house recruiters and external recruiters alike are utilizing LinkedIn to locate and identify potential candidates for the positions they are searching for. Consequently your LinkedIn profile should make it easy for them to not only find you but to contact you as well. And the best way to be found is to make sure that your profile in complete and kept current.

Basically your LinkedIn profile should mirror your resume, so it is to your advantage to take the time and completely fill it out and keep it current. It should include your educational information and industry related certifications like the LPQ, LPC, WZ & CFI. Additionally your profile should also include what you are responsible for in the positions that you have held such as number of stores, sales volume and number of direct reports. Instead of just writing a paragraph of your basic job description go ahead and list your accomplishments like shrink reductions, safety frequency reductions and of course special recognition awards for achievements.

To really enhance your profile, users should also include recommendations and keep them current as well. These are essentially references so don’t be afraid to ask current or past supervisors, peers or business partners for one. Chances are your boss will ask you for one as well!

The final item that should be included on your profile is your contact information. Sounds simple but you might be amazed at how many people do not include their email or a phone number. Why are you on LinkedIn again? Anyone attempting to connect or reconnect with you or is trying to reach you needs at least an email address to do so.
When it comes to recruiting the bottom line is that retail company in-house recruiters and external recruiters are looking for experience levels, education and results while searching through the LinkedIn database. Those of you who are doing a better job of completely filling out their LinkedIn profiles are most likely to get noticed and contacted first.

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