by Mac Prichard
One of the most common requests I receive when talking to “Mac’s List” readers: How can I build a LinkedIn profile to catch the attention of a recruiter or employer?
It’s a question you should ask yourself even if you’re not looking for work and thinking about what an employer will see when your own LinkedIn page pops up on Google.
Your LinkedIn account is more than an online resume or a place to check for job postings. Many professionals now use the site to learn about new coworkers, potential vendors, or possible business partners. Others rely on LinkedIn to share news and ideas with colleagues, customers, and employers.
LinkedIn has more than 200 million members and is growing rapidly, adding new users at the rate of two per second. How can you stand out in such a crowded community and attract the attention of those you want to know about your accomplishments and abilities?
Here are seven ways I’ve seen people get noticed on LinkedIn:
A profile page without your picture looks forgotten and stagnant. Don’t post a vacation photo, however. Keep it professional. If you can’t afford a studio portrait, ask a friend to take a simple headshot with your smart phone.
List All Key Jobs
Don’t add every part-time gig or summer job you ever had, but do include the most important and relevant jobs in your career. And don’t limit yourself to your current position, a common mistake.
Emphasize Results, Not Duties
The best resumes describe what a person accomplished, not just responsibilities. The same is true on LinkedIn. In the summary and experience sections of your profile talk about the benefits you produced for an employer and include key words recruiters may use when searching for candidates.
Ask for Endorsements (And Give Them)
A short two or three sentence endorsement from a former supervisor or colleague adds invaluable credibility to your profile. Aim to have at least one endorsement for each job. Also offer to give endorsements to others who you know well and whose work you can recommend.
Use the Skills & Expertise Section Strategically
You can include up to 50 skills and collect endorsements for each of them from your LinkedIn connections. Think strategically about the strengths you want others to know you have and include them now. Don’t wait for your LinkedIn connections to add them for you.
Build Your Network Every Day
Don’t limit your LinkedIn connections to current or recent coworkers. The larger your network, the easier it is for you to connect with employers and leaders in your field.
Add colleagues from past jobs, instructors and students from college and high school, and friends, neighbors, and others you know socially. I also connect with people I meet professionally and I accept invitations from those I haven’t met if we have common professional interests.
Engage With Others and Give Back
LinkedIn has become a popular publishing platform to share business ideas. Set aside time to review your news feed and comment on information your connections have posted. Post your own material, including professional milestones, events you plan to attend, or blog posts you’ve written. Visit and participate in LinkedIn groups such as Portland Oregon Jobs or Networking Portland.
Mac Prichard is president of Prichard Communications, a Portland-based public relations firm, and publisher of Mac’s List, an online job site for jobs, internships, events, and volunteer opportunities in Oregon.