Did you know that many employers research candidates before an interview? You might not think there is anything unprofessional of you available online, but consider this: do you have friends that tag you in photos? Are there some you’d prefer potential employers not see? Minnesota School of Business-Plymouth (MSB) is here to remind you to do your research—on yourself. Choose a search engine and enter your full name (don’t forget to search both web and images results).
It is important to create and maintain a professional online reputation as you begin the job search process and start your career. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. It allows you to build your brand and promote your skills and qualifications to potential employers.
“I use LinkedIn as part of my social media approach to keep my brand fresh and in people’s minds,” said Todd Sparks, adjunct instructor at MSB-Plymouth. “LinkedIn allows me to reach a wide audience without investing a large amount of time.”
“LinkedIn is a powerful social networking tool that allows you to connect with a variety of professionals,” said Amy Harms Hoad, service learning coordinator at MSB-Plymouth.
Here are five tips from the MSB-Plymouth Career Services Department that will help you build your professional brand using LinkedIn.
- Develop your LinkedIn profile. Your profile is one of the most important steps to building your personal brand. You must create a brief summary that highlights your work history, skills and career goals. Don’t forget to check for spelling and grammar errors. Your profile will be viewed by recruiters and this is your chance to make a positive first impression.
- Add keywords. You should overflow your LinkedIn profile with keywords. Recruiters search profiles by entering keywords into the talent search engine. The more keywords you have on your profile, the more views you will receive.
- Add a professional picture. Uploading a picture will increase your profile views by nearly seven times.
- Customize your LinkedIn URL. Change your URL to reflect your name. Once your URL is customized it will rank higher if someone searches for you on the web. You should add your URL to your resume (under contact information), business cards and email signature to promote your personal brand.
- Join groups. Network with professionals in your field by joining LinkedIn groups. LinkedIn has over 1 million groups available. Post articles, engage in discussions, and expand your network by connecting with group members.
Always remember to update your LinkedIn profile on a regular basis. Frequent updates will keep you relevant, current and, most importantly, your profile will show up more often in the news feed. This is key to increasing your exposure to potential employers!
For more information on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile or tips to improve your job hunt, stop by Career Services today!
Guest post written by Stacey Schmitt, director of career services