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Tips on using LinkedIn

Employers and recruiters say there are a number of things people can do to either enhance or harm their profiles on LinkedIn:

Dos

 Do make the headline at the top more descriptive than just a one-word job title. The more you describe yourself, the more likely your name will pop up in word searches by potential sales contacts and recruiters.

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 Do include a photo of yourself with your online profile. Most people who might want to discuss business with you like to see who they are communicating with.

 Do include descriptions of your specific career skills, from computer expertise to specific past work experience.

 Do state some of your long-term goals for your ­career. There might be some long-term synergies with others with similar plans.

 Do connect with online communities of people with similar interests. It’s a form of networking and allows you to get your name out to a wider number of people.

 Do word searches as if you are looking to find someone just like yourself. If your own name and profile don’t pop up on your search, chances are others won’t find you either. Adjust your profile accordingly.

Don’ts

 Don’t treat the LinkedIn profile as if it’s a personal page. Keep the information you provide as professional as possible.

 Don’t treat your profile as purely a job posting site. Use it for networking, marketing, and enhancing your current job.

 Don’t block out potential “in-mail” contacts with recruiters who may try to get hold of you through LinkedIn’s internal messaging system. It doesn’t hurt to hear pitches.

 Don’t forget to update your profile when you get promoted, assume new job responsibilities, or move to ­another company.

 Don’t just list a couple of your previous jobs. Too few positions may make you look too inexperienced for a potential job.

 Don’t lie or exaggerate. Potentially millions of people can see your profile. The truth will probably get out.

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