College of Business Newsletter Notes from the OPCD: Does Your LinkedIn Impress?

College of Business Newsletter Notes from the OPCD: Does Your LinkedIn Impress?

In case there is any question about this topic – LinkedIn is useful. In my role, I regularly use it to recommend candidates to my connections, ask professionals from in my network industry-specific questions, solicit speakers for campus events, and more.  With more than 2,000 connections, I am always surprised at what a useful networking tool LinkedIn is (when it seems like it could be so overwhelming). Here are a few of my thoughts based on my experience with LinkedIn.

Update. Seriously. Be smart about it though. 
Even if you are not actively looking for a new position, updating your LinkedIn profile makes good professional sense. I receive lots of requests to link in, and I see that more and more candidates are adding their LinkedIn address to their resumes (also smart).
 
Be sure to format your address so it reflects your NAME..  Go to “Edit your public profile,” and by clicking on “Edit public profile URL” you can edit yours to reflect your name.  Mine is linkedin.com/in/julieajernigan (feel free to link in with me, by the way).
And that’s just the beginning. Updating sections takes diligence, reflection, and strategic thinking. You also have to decide when to attach a copy of your resume. For example, I typically do not attach a copy of my resume to my LinkedIn, but if I began to seek a SPECIFIC type of position, I would tailor my resume to the skills and experience that recruiters would look for in that industry and post it.  If you know that you want a specific type of role with skills and experience that are generally accepted within that field, then you might want to keep a copy of your resume updated and attached to your profile.
 UPDATE all sections of your profile frequently and with accuracy and with the dual intent of impressing recruiters and serving as a professional resource within your field to the LinkedIn community.
A word about your photo – read THIS posting from Dr. Yale, and if you still don’t think the photo you choose is important, read THIS.
Read THIS advice about LinkedIn from a recruiter’s perspective.
Caution: LinkedIn sloppiness, errors, and lack of content make a bad impression…
Your profile is a marketing tool and you will either build credibility with your profile or… NOT.  Personally, I am skeptical of profiles with strange or grainy photos, lack of detail about accomplishments, out-of-date and missing information from the education and employment sections.
Read some Do’s and Don’ts about LinkedIn here (all shared with us by Dr. Yale).
When to Link and when to wait…
Link in with folks you can help. Link in with folks who might be able to help you.  That’s what this site is for.  If your page is not aligned with some of the professional interests of the person with whom you want to link, they are more likely to ignore your request.  As an example, I receive requests from people who do not seem to have connection to my past or present professional and educational background.  I ignore these.  At times, I receive requests from candidates who have really poorly constructed pages, and upon looking at their profile I am able to ascertain that they are UD students.  I (reluctantly) accept these, but I am concerned that the candidate is not someone I can refer to one of my colleagues.
Link in at will UNLESS you are submitting an application to the person with whom you want to LinkIn. For example – if I am applying for a job and know that Mr. Jones from ABC company is receiving my resume, I will hold off on linking in with him. Preferably, I will be selected for an interview at which time I’ll ask if I might link in. If I don’t hear back about the position after applying, I might wait a week or so and send a cordial message to accompany my LinkedIn request.  If he accepts – well, that’s not a bad sign!  An even better sign?  If you are seeking a position, and the recruiter or hiring manager asks to link in with you, at least you know that you are on their radar!
Know that if you are in the midst of applying for a job, the folks receiving your resume will look at your LinkedIn sites. My recommendation is that you build the best LinkedIn page possible and edit your settings to PUBLIC – making for easier viewing.

Do you have questions about your career search?  Ask Amy Young, Associate Director of Career Services: ayoung@udallas.edu

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