Optimizing LinkedIn for job hunting

Here's a list of things you can do to optimize LinkedIn for your job search.

In an article for LAPTOP Magazine, writer Dana Wollman has some tips for supporting your job search using LinkedIn. Here are some of the best tips she provides:

1. Expand your profile

You'll hear from any resume expert that you should limit a resume to one full page. But for those of you who feel compelled to list every job, including that one you had the summer of your junior year in high school, LinkedIn could be just what you want. Wollman says the more things you list, the more people will happen upon your profile.

2. Customize your URL

Change your LinkedIn URL so your name appears in the link. This will optimize your search engine results. To do this, go to your profile page, go to Accounts & Settings, and click Public Profile under Profile Settings.

3. Write recommendations

Wollman says that penning a thoughtful testimony will reflect well on you and increase your visibility. You're also likely to receive one in return.

4. Choose your friends carefully

Well, that's just good advice, period. But Wollman stresses it in regard to LinkedIn. "Whereas rampant friending is the norm for Facebook and MySpace, LinkedIn users should use discretion in building a network of colleagues they know and trust." (The word "friending" threatens to give me an aneurysm, but I won't edit it out. Don't want to do any enemy-ing.)

5. Find an expert

If you have a question for someone in a certain field, Wollman recommends asking because most people will be happy to help.

6. Ask and answer questions

This helps you build credibility in your field.

7. Plumb Outlook for contacts

You can build your network by adding frequent e-mail contacts. Just download the Outlook Toolbar from the Tools section at the bottom of LinkedIn's site. When you click on the LinkedIn icon, the site's home page opens in Outlook. You can also add contacts from AOL, Gmail, and Yahoo address books.

See Wollman's article for more tips.