How to Write an Effective LinkedIn Profile: Advice from KCS Co-Founder Jeff Wilson

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When it comes to job-hunting, there’s a saying that applies perfectly – “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.’

The truth is, most people in today’s job market barely even get a first chance.

That’s why having a great LinkedIn profile is so important.

LinkedIn is THE professional online network site, and HR people and recruiters are increasingly using it as their go-to source for finding new talent. Even so, the average time they spend looking at a profile is only 6 seconds! So, it’s critical that you write a profile that attracts attention immediately and is an effective tool for landing interviews.

While there are lots of advice available on how best to write a profile, we asked Key Corporate Services co-founder Jeff Wilson to share his insight on what candidates need to do to ensure their profiles are an effective recruiting tool.  His suggestions are as follows:

First – when writing your profile, it’s important to consider who will most likely be reading it. “These will probably be HR people or 3rd party recruiters who are either in their twenties or thirties. They have never worked in your industry, so they know very little about the industry-specific acronyms or terminology,” said Wilson. Therefore, he suggests you write your profile background so that any 7th grader could understand what you do and what your qualifications are. The intention is to ensure any reader can easily understand and know if you match a position they have.

Second – if you must use industry jargon or acronyms, describe what they mean so anyone can understand.

Third – write enough content to fully cover the scope of your current/past duties. “Far too many candidates simply list their employer’s name, their title, and dates of employment”.

Fourth – expand your profile to match the content found on your resume. “List past jobs and employers and a brief description about what you did in each.”

Fifth – Connections on LinkedIn are important. “Join industry and discipline-titled groups and associations on LinkedIn.” Wilson states that the more connections you have, the more likely you are to be found. His advice is to strive to get 100 contacts immediately. Ultimately, your goal should be 200 contacts. It’s really not that hard to attain.

Sixth – As you build your connections, invite current and past co-workers to connect with you. Each new connection improves your visibility and ability to be found. Ideally, you want to be building your LinkedIn connections before you become unemployed.

Sixth – Have a professional-looking picture. Pictures that seem appropriate for Facebook may not be right for your profile. If you cannot afford a professional photo, have a picture showing you dressed in business, not casual, attire. The picture should be from the chest area and up, similar to one taken by any professional photographer.

Adhering to these basic guidelines will help your LinkedIn profile become the attention-grabbing tool that snags that next interview and job offer leading to that new, exciting career.

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