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 Vital to Job Search

WHETHER OR NOT  YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE, LinkedIn has become a "hiring tool" for recruiters and employers, and anyone looking for a job should know what that means.

Luis Perez, principal staffing manager/manager in the National Technology Contracts division at WinterWyman, says it can be the most effective way to network to your next job-or a problem that stops you from getting it.

Here are his tips for making your LinkedIn profile work for you:
  
1.Update your LnkedIn profile with the following qualifications:

  •  Quality of companies worked for
  •  Career progression: highlight your individual story whether it is a career change or a move from one project to another. 
  •  Keywords: Be sure to describe each of your positions with important industry-specific keywords; this is how recruiters search.
  •  Academic background: Make sure to list all degrees, industry affiliations and certifications.
  •  Be active: Have a large number of connections, but most importantly make them meaningful

Creative ways to make LinkedIn basics more appealing:
  •  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.
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  •  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. 
  •  
  •  Industry: For some industries, it is easy for recruiters to search strictly by the industry, such as finance. In other industries, such as technology, the industry section is less important than skill set where recruiters will focus on a keyword search.
  •  
  •  Discuss your product or company in great detail. This is important because it gives you the chance to provide a lot of detail, if you worked on a product, on the audience, the size of the project, etc.
  •  
  •  Recommendations: Make sure that you are continually asking for and providing recommendations. One mistake is that managers don't often get recommendations from direct reports.
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  •  Groups: Use them but don't go over the top. Joining groups allows you to demonstrate your interests and expertise and to connect with other members of groups. But you need to be careful to maintain a balance of appropriate networking.
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  •  Photo: Always use a photo - make sure that is not too formal, but not too informal.
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