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In the age of social media, creating a LinkedIn profile can be extremely helpful in marketing yourself for an IT Support position. LinkedIn offers plenty of opportunities for those on the job market, helping them form connections, keep track of businesses and events, and even have the job seeking done for them. However, many tend to give their LinkedIn profile only a simple afterthought. Many usually have it only half-done, have copy-pasted some bits and pieces from their resume and have not logged in for months.

To make a proper LinkedIn account to help boost your credibility and get employers to notice you start by going to LinkedIn.com and create a new account.  Make sure you are using a professional email address. It is often best to use an email that is specifically for job searches and professional purposes. Enter your first and last name and password you will use to begin creating your profile. Your profile will be your personal storyboard, so be sure it is complete and representative of you and the career you are aiming for.  It is also important to include a professional photo, a good photo increases the credibility of your profile and helps you stand our form the crowd. Members with a good photo on LinkedIn can get up to 21 times more profile views than member without a photo. Make sure that your picture that your face takes up around sixty percent of it do not use long distance shots make sure to wear what you would like to wear to work and smile.

Next, make sure your headline and summary stand out. Your current position will automatically go into your headline, but feel free to rewrite it to either promote an area of expertise or to let your professional personality shine. The summary can be written in the About section of your profile. This section should express your mission, motivation, and skills to people who view your profile. Be sure to list your skills and relevant experience and really emphasizes how you have made a difference in past scenarios. Your summary should be about one to two paragraphs long, and if you have trouble you can choose to lay it out in bullet points. You can also add relevant skills, this will help showcase your abilities to other members, like recruiters and hiring managers. It helps others understand your strengths. Once you add your skills, your connections can endorse them, to add credibility. You can also take assessments for the skills you have listed on your profile to showcase your proficiency.

Next, we can focus on getting connections and networking yourself. To start building your network of connections, go under the Contacts menu and select ‘Add Connections’. You can enter your email address, import your desktop email application contacts, or enter a list of email addresses. Next, you can select the Colleagues tab. This will search LinkedIn for members who work at the same companies you have listed on your profile. You can also find university classmates by going to the ‘Alumni’ tab and selecting a school that you have listed on your profile. This will show you other LinkedIn members who have also attended the same school during the same time. Finally, you can select the ‘People You May Know’ tab. This will give you a list of suggestions based on your current connections. As with the above options, be sure to only request people who you know will recognize you and will want to connect. Building your connections is the quickest way to get grow your profile, get noticed, and unlock more job opportunities. You can sync your professional email to grab any contacts you may have saved. You will also receive emails about potential connections, it is wise to check for these and add them if you know them. Once you can obtain 30 connections, you will unlock more job offers. The more connections, the more credible your profile.

Once you have gathered your connections, you can begin to request recommendations from them. A recommendation is written to recognize or commend a connection such as a colleague, partner, or student. There is no limit to the number of recommendations you can ask for. Once you accept a recommendation written by a connection, it becomes visible to your network by default. You can also hide recommendations that you think do not suit your professional goals.

Once you have created and updated different sections of your profile, you can begin sharing your public profile with your wider network. Your public profile is a simplified version of your complete LinkedIn profile that shows up in search engines and is visible to everyone. You can promote your profile to show up better in search engine results by creating a personal URL. You can also create a badge for your public profile that you can add to your online resume, blog, or website from the Public profile settings page.