Career expert John Crant says that using LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools out there for job seekers. Here are some of his tips for using the business networking site more effectively:
* Show your face: Crant recommends using a professional-looking headshot for your profile. It makes it more likely that others will check out your profile.
* Make your LinkedIn profile three-dimensional: Your resume should be short — Crant says you should think of it as an appetizer, and not the main course — but your LinkedIn profile should be extensive. The career expert says you should explain your career in a way that will make recruiters stand up and take notice, such as detailing your accomplishments.
*Reach out and touch: If there is somebody you’d like to connect with, but you don’t know the person, Crant says you should send them an invitation as a “friend” and say something like this when extending the LinkedIn invite: “I like to connect with other professionals in our niche, and of course…” and add that to the generic invitation LinkedIn generates for you. Crant says you should also put in your full name at the end.
* Use a title: LinkedIn gives users the ability to create a title under their name to describe who they are, and what they’re looking for. Crant puts his job title, biographical information, website, and email under his name, so that somebody looking to see who he is can get a quick summation, without having to do a treasure hunt for the info.
* Network, network, network: Many LinkedIn users are what’s known as “open networkers” — they’re open to connecting with people they don’t know. Look for profiles that show “Open Networker” or “LION” (an open networking acronym) to find such users.