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Job searching or not, LinkedIn matters

Mir Haynes, owner of RTP Resumes, gave a presentation at Thursday's Jobs Network meeting that was packed with great advice, tips and tricks for optimizing your LinkedIn profile and presence. Her advice:  First, work on creating a profile that is professional and clearly states the value you bring.  Start with a professional photo- not one from the last wedding you attended, nor the one taken in your car, with your dog, or at the beach!  Next, secure your own vanity url to replace the long LinkedIn profile address (select the icon under your picture to modify it), write a great headline and tell your story/reinforce your brand with a memorable summary that is rich in keywords. The summary statement can be challenging, but Mir provided three different formulas to try and gave real-life examples of each.

Whether you’re job searching or not, it’s best to be active on LinkedIn all the time. Keeping your profile current will make it easier to update your resume, learn about conversations thought leaders in your field are having, and continually build your network.  There is a balance though; too much activity can create the appearance that you’re job hunting, and depending on your situation may not be something you want to announce.  Remember to always keep it professional on LinkedIn!  Mir shared her Four Awesome Ways to Use LinkedIn Every Day:  1. Make and request recommendations 2. Update your status and share/comment on updates (shoot for no more than 10% self-promotion here) 3. Contribute to three to five LinkedIn groups- but not before getting a feel for the tone of the group and the major players involved and 4. Continually grow your network.  LinkedIn is a great tool and having a professional and active LinkedIn presence is a no brainer!

Mir's slide presentation can be viewed here.

Comments

Great LinkedIn Tips and Tricks and Mir gave an excellent presentation. Thank you to Susan for organizing the event. As scientists, many of us tend to be tentative in using social media and networking. And, that is the problem! Waiting to establish and nurture a trusted, value based network takes consistent effort and discipline. The 4 ways Mir presented in using LinkedIn are a great start. What other ways have you found to be useful in establishing your network?

As a general rule, I connect with people I've met in person first. I always personalize my invitations to connect and send a thank you message to people who invite me to connect. I think it's also important to try to help others as much as possible.

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