Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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LinkedIN Value Depends On User

Today no one can even consider starting a job search without setting up a LinkedIn account, then working to expand it to find new opportunities.

But according to Ian Ide, President of the Search Divisions at WinterWyman, the network can be the land of missed opportunities or it can be the most effective way to network your way into your next job opportunity. 

Following are some of the most common LinkedIn mistakes by job seekers that Ide and other professionals see, along with solutions he believes will help you land that next great opportunity:
o A LinkedIn profile does not a resume make: The most common mistake by job seekers is using their personal LinkedIn profile as a resume. A LinkedIn profile is NOT a resume; it is somewhere between a resume and a Facebook profile. It needs to be professional, yet personalized; to allow recruiters and hiring managers to reach out and say, "This is what I like about your background" or "I noticed you belong to the IT Networking Group", pulling info from the Groups section of the profile which is professional.
o Make it personal: Personalize your profile to reflect who you are and to allow recruiters and hiring managers to get to know you or make a connection, "By the way, I'm a Sox fan, too". Another example would be a recruiter who is a Red Sox fan seeing a potential job candidate with a Red Sox icon on their LinkedIn profile, that gives these two people a way to connect, and keeps that person's profile from being generic. Other examples, other interests could be joining groups / associations...technologists can be experienced in a lot of technologies but may only be PASSIONATE about a very few and can join those groups. This is a way to make that match with a recruiter.
o This is your 'first impression" are you approachable? Recruiters are trying to determine if a potential job candidate will respond to them. The reality is that recruiters use LinkedIn to contact people they don't know, but that they feel are approachable, i.e., is the potential candidates' profile summary extremely formal, is it written in the 3rd person, or did that person effectively summarize what they like to do, describe their passions, make themselves approachable?
Creative ways to make LinkedIn basics more appealing:
o Summary: A summary should not be written in the third person. You should personalize and discuss your passions. Do not list just what you have done, but what you would like to be doing.

o Title: It is important to have a meaningful title. You should not use your actual title, but the functional title, since this is one of the primary ways that recruiters search - it is almost always the number one search field. Crazy titles are most often seen in start-ups; they are given to engender attention and prestige for the position; some examples are "IT Ninja", "Rock Star", and "Chief People Officer". But, recruiters search for traditional titles, such as CIO, CTO, CEO, and CHRO. For example, Product Manager is the functional title but in a start-up, the position may be called "Customer Experience Manager".

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