As of June 2013, LinkedIn reported more than 259 million acquired users in more than 200 countries and territories. ​

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According to an article in the business section of Time Magazine, almost all (93%) recruiters are tapping LinkedIn to discover and uncover talent. This is up from 87% in 2011 and​​ 78% in 2010. Furthermore,

89% of recruiters have hired through LinkedIn.(http://business.time.com/2012/07/09/how-recruiters-use-social-networks-to-make-hiring-decisions-now/)

Thus it is essential that Linked In play a top priority for one seeking to optimize his or her employability.

This post is the first of a 3-part series discussing the 3 specific areas that job seekers should leverage on LinkedIn to optimize their job search:

Part 1: Creating recruiter-attractive Profiles
Part 2: Productive Connecting
Part 3: Leveraging Linked In Groups​

1. A Professional Photo – Job seekers are advised to have a professional, well-lit, updated photo featured on their Linked In profile for 2 reasons:

  • A professional photo visually establishes the professional image of a candidate immediately.
  • The absence of or poor quality photos prompt click-away, i.e. rapid loss of interest.​
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2. Keyword Rich Tag Lines – Google pays a great deal of search attention to Linked In. Increased targetedprofile views and clicks for more information result from properly crafted keywords in tag lines. Job seekers can gain a distinct advantage in their specific field by implementing profile tag lines searched by Google. More keyword info can be found here: (Google Adword Keyword Tool).

​3. Linked In Profile Summary – Profiles that focus on accomplishments and clear, specific skills related to these accomplishments vs. responsibilities and general statements prompt higher recruiter and hiring manager interest.

4. Linked In Profile Career History – Close The Gaps
Employment-seekers should fill gaps in dates by highlighting projects they’ve worked on, committees they’ve served, association activities, pro bono work. Gaps should not be glossed over or avoided.

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5. Recommendations Over Endorsements on Your Linked In Profile – Recruiters and hiring managers give greater credence to recommendations than endorsements because endorsements require only a click. Conversely, recommendations call for more specifics and details surrounding the testimonial.

6. Your Linked In Profile: Numbers of Contacts –
Participation in relevant groups increases visibility and credibility with targeted niche-specific referrers and potential decision makers. In a future post, we’ll discuss how to leverage connections within these groups.

Next up: (within the next 2 weeks) Part 2: Productive Connecting on Linked In   ​​