Who is looking at your incomplete LinkedIn profile right now?

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If you were applying for a job and were asked for your resume, you will provide the potential employer with a detailed account of your job history, what you do, your areas of expertise, your achievements and personal references from credible sources.

If your company was bidding for a large contract, your bid will contain a detailed overview of what your company does, where you add value and all the resources that will be involved in the contract you are bidding for. You will attempt to make the document as concise as possible and will not purposefully omit anything.

Then why do people fail to do this on LinkedIn?

Here are some LinkedIn facts that should make you sit up in your chair:

  • As of 31 March 2012, LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with 161 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
  • Sixty-one percent of LinkedIn members are located outside of the United States, as of 31 March 2012.

More LinkedIn statistics are available on the LinkedIn press office.

This article is not a punt for LinkedIn. It is a call to action to people and companies that have LinkedIn profiles to update their profiles to the same standard as they would for their resume or company profile. If you consider the fact that LinkedIn members did nearly 4.2-billion professionally-oriented searches on the platform in 2011 and are on pace to surpass 5.3 billion in 2012, your profile and your company’s LinkedIn page is possibly going to come up in these searches. Worse yet is your profile is not being displayed at all in searches and you are missing out on that great job or that big contract!

It is a known fact that LinkedIn is a recruiters first choice in recruitment tools. According to Irina Shamaeva, the Chief Resourcer at Brain Gain Recruiting in San Francisco:

  • 82 924 people list their industry as “Staffing and Recruiting”
  • 380 040 people have one of the following words as part of their past or current title: recruiter OR recruiting OR recruitment OR talent OR staffing OR placement OR sourcer OR “executive search”
  • 1 148 975 people have one or more of those keywords on their profiles

Consider this excerpt from a Forbes article entitled LinkedIn is Disrupting the Corporate Recruiting Market:

But the real story is the huge jump in revenues from LinkedIn’s recruiting services (“Hiring Solutions”). Revenues in this segment grew by 136% to US$84.9-million, making the company the fastest growing public provider of corporate recruiting solutions. To give you a sense of how dramatic this is: LinkedIn’s recruiting revenues are now greater than Taleo’s (which was just acquired by Oracle for US$1.9-billion) and within the year could reach the size of Monster.com. Monster’s recruiting revenues were US$250-million last quarter and only grew by two percent.

So my advice to all is to get on LinkedIn and update your personal profiles. Here are some tips from About.com on how to update your profile:

  • Create a Profile: Create a detailed profile on LinkedIn, including employment (current and past), education, and industry
  • Add a Photo: You can add a photo (a headshot is recommended or upload a larger photo and edit it) to your LinkedIn profile
  • Professional Summary: The Professional Summary section of your profile is a good way to highlight your experience
  • Keywords and Skills: Include all the keywords and skills from your resume in your profile. That will make it easier for your profile to be found in search results
  • Contact Settings: Your contact settings let your connections (and recruiters) know what you’re available for
  • Links: The links section of your profile is a good way to provide even more information to potential employers and to your contacts
  • Public Profile URL: Don’t forget to make your profile public – that’s how the world can find it
  • Update Your Profile: Don’t forget to update your profile when you change positions or companies.
  • Grow Your Network: Connect with other members and build your network. The more connections you have, the more opportunities you have, but don’t randomly connect with people you don’t know.
  • Get Recommendations: To a potential employer, a LinkedIn recommendation is a reference in advance
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