LinkedIn for the thin-resume

Every titan of industry who didn’t inherit their position started out with a resume just as thin as that of the next budding business person. Nothing about this changed with the advent of such online networking sites as LinkedIn.

Still, many ambitious individuals just starting on their business administration degree may believe that they don’t have enough experience to start a profile on LinkedIn.

They’re wrong, and here’s why.

Sell your destination
LinkedIn has been described as a living resume, and to a certain point, that’s true. But don’t forget, a resume is as much an expression of future goals as it is a record of past achievements and experience. While you may have more experience than you think, couching the information on Linkedin to reflect your desired career destination, as long as you do so honestly, is perfectly fine. In the next section, we’ll try to make this point more clear.

Translate your Transferables
Chances are, you’re a go-getter and that’s why you’re seeking a better life by expanding your horizons, right? You get noticed for your attitude and ability and other leaders select you to perform in increasingly more responsible positions. You are the first person people in your organization ask for help because they know they can count on you. You also know how to diplomatically say no when you honestly can’t invest your time and make your best contributions. These traits are who you are now, but they’re also who you will be in a real position of responsibility in the future.

With your destination in mind, tailor your skills, traits and experiences to accurately describe, not only your past experiences, but to paint a vivid picture of how these acts will look in your next best position. Use action verbs transferable to your desired position or occupation to describe what duties you’ve performed. Don’t waste finite space by including facts that can’t be translated into your future skillset.

Join the right groups
Building on your transferable skills and then joining and actively participating in the right Linkedin groups is one more way to add some beef to your profile while showing off some important skills to the right people. One recommended way to identify these groups is to use your networking skills to ask key contacts for help. Most professionals like to be asked for advice, and if they’re in your desired field, they’ll be able to share with you the names of the right groups. In the case of restricted sites, these same contacts can help you gain access. Once you’re a part of these groups, use your time wisely to demonstrate some skills all employers want to see.

Vigilance makes the difference
Make regular, thoughtful posts and updates on Linkedin. When doing this, take every opportunity to demonstrate your strengths in critical thinking, strong communication skills, and the use of computer applications to show that you are informed about your profession. Bone up on the economic news for your industry and engage thought leaders on Linkedin as they describe new developments in relevant markets.

You’re already working hard to achieve your goals, so make sure that you’re diligent in working your Linkedin profile several times a week. Your resume will gain some bulk after time, but in the meanwhile, use this social networking tool to tell decision makers who you are and who you’ll be.

This is a guest post by Lindsey Mac, who regularly writes for Professional Intern and other publications on topics such as education and technology. You can follow her on Twitter @HarperMac11.

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