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The Dos and Don'ts of a Strong LinkedIn Profile

September 24, 2012 | Alberta

They sent in their resume, submitted contact information of references and found someone to write a strong recommendation letter. Though it appears that these types of professionals have taken all the right steps, they still could be overlooking one particular portion of the job application process - their social networking accounts. If job seekers have created a LinkedIn account in the past but have not touched it since, they may be hindering their chances of scoring the job they desire.

The professional networking service has actually become a useful way for job seekers to connect with recruiters and find job opportunities for which they might be a good match. As long as they follow certain guidelines to keep their accounts up to date and searchable, new graduates could be well on their way to starting their dream careers.

It might sound superficial, but the picture on a person's profile is essentially a hiring manager's starting point for the candidate search. When an account does not possess a picture, the chances of it getting clicked are much less likely, and recruiters might even assume that the person holding the account is unattractive because of it, Miriam Salpeter, a job search consultant and career coach, told U.S. News & World Report.

There are a number of intricate privacy settings on LinkedIn, and one of them allows users the option of revealing their profile monitoring behavior or keeping it anonymous. While it may seem scary to let people know that someone's been peeking at their account, it shouldn't. The purpose of LinkedIn is to show employers, acquaintances or even strangers that someone is interested in a specific career path or company. Sometimes, simply browsing a profile may spark the viewer to contact the person about a position, so lowering the privacy settings a bit might actually be a smart idea.

Another useful tip is for job seekers to ask someone else to take a look at their account. While one person's eyes might not catch the glaring typo in their headline or work summary, a more objective perspective may give a better overall edit to the page. To prevent these mistakes from ultimately costing a job opportunity, job seekers can also make sure to change the settings on their web browser, whether it's Firefox, Chrome or Safari, so that it underlines misspellings in red.

Students seeking healthcare careers can apply these skills at CDI College as they begin their quest toward a medical office assistant position. For more information on the program, fill out the form on the right.

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