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A Beginner's Guide to LinkedIn

November 2014

This month's InnerView Career Q&A question addresses the tool that has easily become the most integral part of job seeking in this day and age: LinkedIn. Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay, and with a few suggestions your profile can be elevated from a mirror of your resume to a multifaceted digital landscape in which to get noticed and optimize your experience!

Q: How do you successfully use LinkedIn? – J. Washington, Chicago

A: Ah, LinkedIn! To some, a godsend. To others, a necessary evil. No matter where you fall in the spectrum, it’s undeniable that the platform has proven to be an invaluable asset to the job search. From endorsements, to headlines, to finding the perfect symphony of words to make your summary shine, LinkedIn can prove to be a challenge to even the most seasoned professional. For those just starting out, a beginner’s guide, below:

A Complete Profile. Make sure you have a completed profile! This seems obvious but you’ll be amazed how many I see that list even less information than you’ll find in a resume. You don’t have to fill out every section just because you’re prompted, but you also want to highlight—say—your volunteer experience, your major project or your desire to join a nonprofit board.

The Photo. As the saying goes, a picture says a thousand words, and you want them all to be glowing. A professional looking photo of just you (no cropped pictures of your night out!) against a blank backdrop is best.



Nurys Harrigan is president of Careers In Nonprofits, the experts in nonprofit staffing and recruiting with offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

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