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There are several things a candidate on LinkedIn can do to improve their chances of being contacted by a recruiter or potential employer.  Bearing in mind that the average LinkedIn profile is viewed for less than 15 seconds; we suggest candidates concentrate on the following 5 areas:

1. Your Photo
Nothing beats a professional headshot; but if your budget does not allow for that, ask a friend with a relatively high megapixel camera to take a few photos of you from the shoulders up.  Wear a dark jacket and light contrasting shirt or blouse for traditional businesses.  If you are in technology or a creative industry, your attire can be more casual.  NEVER use any of the following:

A. A selfie
B. A photo of yourself on vacation
C. A photo that also depicts another person

2. Turn your Title into a Headline
LinkedIn allows enough space in each profile for a short “headline” of approximately 15 to 20 words to use in place of a title.  Instead of listing only a title or occupation under their names, smart candidates use that area as a “billboard” of sorts to attract the attention of potential hiring managers.  Items that can be included are education, awards, certifications, general accomplishments or even relocation status.
For example, a Division Sales Manager might upgrade his or her title to “Award Winning Division Sales Manager with MBA willing to relocate.”

3.Upgrade LinkedIn to a Premium Job Seeker Account
Candidates who have done their research have upgraded to LinkedIn’s premium Job Seeker account.  With a Premium account, hiring managers or recruiters can contact you for FREE.  The alternative is using InMails which can cost anywhere from $5 to $10 EACH.  The upgraded service is $25.00 per month, and a candidate may cancel at any time.  Tip:  Candidates who expect to be employed in less than a year may want to turn down LinkedIn’s offer for the discount that is available by paying for one year up front.  Unlike the monthly charge, refunds are unavailable on the annual subscription once it has been paid.  A monthly upgraded account can be converted back to a free account at the end of any month.  There are also additional advantages to this type of account.  For details go to:  https://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/71

4. Paste your complete, detailed resume into your LinkedIn profile.
If you worked for one employer for several years, be sure to note your promotions.  Candidates who have been in the same role for 15 years are not typically as intriguing to employers as those who have moved up several times.  If you are open to relocation, this is a good area of the profile to add that information as well.

5. Include the name of your degree in your profile
In profiles where only a school name and dates of attendance are listed, some recruiters or hiring managers may assume that a candidate only ATTENDED the school but did not GRADUATE.  For instance, if you have a BA in Business Administration, we recommend having it “spelled out” in the Education section of your LinkedIn profile.
For more in depth advice on optimizing LinkedIn or for general career management, contact our licensed coaching and career partners at: contact@mpacareers.com

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