A hot debate in the career field these days is whether LinkedIn profiles will eventually replace traditional resumes. While that might not happen in the very near future, it's clear that a complete, well written profile is an essential tool for job searchers, and that LinkedIn is increasingly being seen as a valuable under-the-radar recruiting tool. Why, then, do we meet so many people at the Library who open LinkedIn accounts and never complete them or capitalize on their potential?
The most obvious reason is time. Our experience is that it takes a minimum of six to eight hours to get your profile to a point where you wouldn't be nervous if a potential employer had a peek. The other consideration is learning yet another social media platform and understanding all the components. That's why the Library's books on LinkedIn are so popular, along with a multitude of online tutorials, blogs and websites such as Mashable. These sites can help explain features and changes, and offer tips on making your profile stand out and be found,
One of my favourite blogs is Viveka von Rosen's (formerly of Edmonton), who was recently named one of Forbes Top 10 Most Influential Women, and is the author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour A Day. She also has a website full of advice, including a recent article featuring her Best 23 LinkedIn Tips. One tip that stands out is her reminder to include all your expertise, publications and certifications in your profile. Many people forget to reflect and look back on all their key training, often because they decide it isn't relevant to include in their resume. But that is the beauty of LinkedIn: it can be a master resume that fully represents all the time and energy you have invested into your life and career.
Overwhelmed? Remember that Calgary Public Library has a variety of programs on LinkedIn, ranging from our popular two hour introduction on social networking and job search, and our more intensive five hour course. Help is always at hand - so finish what you start in 2013.