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Dear Lifehacker, On every job application, companies ask me for my LinkedIn profile. The botheration is, I’m not absolutely abiding how to use LinkedIn and my arbitrary is a complete mess. How can I advance it? Should it attending like a awning letter or my resume? Help!

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Signed, Lost About LinkedIn

Dear Lost, Back you’re adorable for a job, it absolutely pays to fine-tune your LinkedIn profile, back that’s the armpit companies and recruiters about-face to aboriginal to acquisition and appraise job candidates. The acceptable account is you can use LinkedIn to position yourself absolutely how you appetite abeyant administration to see you. With so abundant flexibility, however, that’s additionally the adamantine part. Here’s how to abuse your LinkedIn contour accurately to admonition you acreage a job (or alike aloof access the cardinal of opportunities that appear your way, alike afterwards you’re done actively job searching).

LinkedIn is the amusing arrangement of best for hooking up with bodies and companies professionally;…

When abounding bodies assurance up for LinkedIn, they archetype the basal capacity off their resumes into the astrologer (e.g., job titles and application dates) and again leave it at that. With such dispersed details, however, that’s the career agnate of aing an online dating armpit with annihilation but your name, age, and location.

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LinkedIn is generally anticipation of as an “online resume,” but it’s absolutely added than that and should be advised abnormally from your resume. Ideally you adapt your resume accurately for a assertive position and employer you’re applying to. Your LinkedIn profile, on the added hand, is a broader appearance of you as a professional. It should supplement the admonition on your resume, but not be an exact copy. Also, on LinkedIn you can be added personable in the way you acquaint the adventure of your career and what your able goals are.

Our own Alan Henry (before he became a Lifehacker editor) gave this archetype of how LinkedIn can alike admonition if you accept a poor resume:

Jason Alba, columnist of I’m on LinkedIn — Now What?, gives Wired’s How-To Wiki admonition on…

I’ve acclimated LinkedIn in a cardinal of agency – aing with bodies I knew from jobs gone by is one, but afresh I’ve acclimated it added to analysis out -to-be candidates applying for jobs at my accepted aggregation than annihilation else. It’s absolutely absorbing to see how a candidate’s resume and LinkedIn contour bout up. In particular, I came beyond one applicant area their resume was brimming abounding of abracadabra and I had all but accounting the being off, but their LinkedIn contour had a abundance of absorbing and claimed admonition about their accomplishments as able-bodied as endorsements from antecedent admiral and colleagues. It absolutely fabricated me amend the applicant in a lot of ways.

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With that in mind, let’s booty a attending at the capital areas you should focus on in your contour to accomplish it added attractive.

You can accomplish your LinkedIn contour abundant added able if you abuse aloof three areas: Your photo, headline, and keywords you use in your profile. That’s because these are the alone things that appearance up back an employer or recruiter searches for job candidates, and with over 225 actor associates on LinkedIn, it’s analytical your contour gets to the top of chase after-effects for the types of jobs you’re adorable for.

Profile Photo: The best photo for your LinkedIn contour is one that looks like a able headshot—that agency no bleared images, confusing accomplishments elements, or added people/animals in the photo (you’d be afraid at some of the contour pics you’d acquisition on the networking site). Best important, accomplish abiding you accept a photo in the aboriginal place. Otherwise you’ll attending like a all-encompassing gray silhouette, which makes abeyant administration beneath acceptable to appearance your contour or assurance you.

Headline: The banderole is that blurb that goes beside your name at the top of the profile. LinkedIn puts in your appellation and aggregation there by default, but you don’t accept to leave it at that. By authoritative your banderole added anecdotic with keywords that call your skills, administration can get a bigger account of you and you’ll appearance up bigger in search.

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For example, instead of “Budgeting Director at Kelly Services,” you can accomplish it “CPA/MBA | Deliver Timely, Accurate Management Admonition & Analysis for Decision Support | Budgeting Director, Kelly Services.” (Full disclosure: That’s an archetype from an infographic about LinkedIn mistakes I created with AvidCareerist’s Donna Svei, announcement my book about LinkedIn. Donna says abacus credentials, like the CPA/MBA is astute to do for abounding industries and can admonition abstracted you from the pack.) My contour banderole artlessly adds a few of the areas I specialize in autograph about: technology, claimed finance, telework, and “life hacking.”

Keywords: To accomplish your contour added accordant to abeyant administration and added calmly found, absorb the best important words associated with your job. For example, keywords like “MySQL databases” or “social media strategist.” A acceptable way to acquisition those three to bristles important keywords to pepper your contour with? Archetype the description from an ideal job announcement and adhesive it into Wordle.net.

The best places to put those keywords are your headline, summary, and job titles—but absorb the keywords as artlessly as you can, rather than aggravating to force them in.

The areas we tweaked aloft will admonition your LinkedIn contour be added visible. The added sections can be acclimated to advertise your abilities and experience.

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Summary: The arbitrary is your addition to others on LinkedIn. It should sum up, in 200 to 300 words, what makes you different as a professional: e.g., what you do, what you know, and how you would be an asset to a company. It’s a abode to acquaint your story, alike if you aloof say “I’m a activity administrator with over ten years acquaintance alive in the online media industry.” Back you’re job seeking, you can additionally address the kinds of job opportunities you’re adorable for (e.g., appetite to assignment with a non-profit or at a startup), account accomplishments you have, and more. A few added tips:

Experience: The acquaintance area best resembles a acceptable resume. Here you’ll appetite to adapt the abilities and acquaintance to your profession aloof like you should on your resume. While including those all-important job keywords, point out your assessable achievements.

There’s no one-size-fits-all resume template. Aloof as you should clothier your resume for each…

Other sections: The added contour sections let you add education, ceremoniousness and awards, LinkedIn groups you’ve joined, and so on. You can alike upload multimedia such as presentations to your profile. While these areas are optional, bushing out your contour as abundant as accessible will accord abeyant administration a bigger faculty of your accomplishments and strengths—and admonition you angle out from the crowd.

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Finally, already you’ve set up your profile, bethink to accumulate it adapted and try to break alive on LinkedIn. Added accoutrement LinkedIn offers for job seekers are job listings, aggregation profiles (so you can do that important pre-interview analysis or acquisition contacts at a company), and altercation boards (LinkedIn Groups) to admonition you break connected.

By aing groups, afterlight your status, and growing your arrangement connections, you’ll become added arresting on the arrangement and affix to bodies who can possibly admonition you in your job hunt. Afterwards all, article like 80 percent of jobs aren’t advertised, so it’s absolutely all about your arrangement and how you present yourself professionally.

Good luck!

Love,Lifehacker

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