business teamLinkedIn is transforming the recruitment process. At first a glorified data bank of names and facts, it now rivals the more established job hunting websites as the place to recruit. Yes, recruiters make up a good portion of users, and they put its search functionality to source potential hires in a passive recruitment fashion.

That’s pretty cool, to be found without effort on your part!

There’s a catch of course: you won’t be found unless you take a few steps that increase your chances of coming up in a search, and of making the very best first impression. Here are a few tips on how to accomplish this.

1. The photo. No, it shouldn’t be silly and yes, it must be professional looking. The photo should reflect your “brand,” or your goal. Consider that studies show that profiles with photos get 30% more clicks, and that if you have a photo you will show up in searches more often, to the order of 7 times more often!

2. Your headline. With 120 characters for composing your headline, which comes up with the photo in search results, you must choose your message wisely. Writing something along the lines of “New grad, University of ” won’t gain as much traction as “Qualified Human Resource graduate” or “Top of Class Economist.” A good headline – effective and influential – requires that you know yourself and your audience.

3. The summary. Lots of room here for a few great paragraphs and a few key bullets. Make sure you write about the skills required in the type of position you are applying to. Our snowboarder might love to brag about his tricks on the hill, but these won’t mean a thing to an insurance recruiter looking to hire a novice actuary. Again, you must know which aspects of your recent education, skills, personality and previous work experience to bring forward and which to leave out.

The key here is that the new grad must know what he or she wants in the way of a job. There is no such thing as an effective “general profile.” Yes, you can write something broad, but it won’t prove that you have the skills or knowledge to fill a particular position. Generalities won’t make a great impression and certainly won’t get you real attention.

And mom and dad, if you are reading this, the same info applies to you!

When you’re ready for help with putting your best foot forward, making an amazing first impression, or landing that first post-grad career-launching position, New Leaf is ready to be of service. – saving the world from mediocre resumes, LinkedIn profiles and haphazard job searches, Stephanie


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