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Creating a Dynamite LinkedInŽ Profile that Pulls, Attracts, and Sells your Candidacy

LinkedInŽ claims to be one of the largest professional networks in the world. With a robust presence in over 200 countries and an estimated 130 million to 200 million members, chances are that your next job or business connection might be just an introduction away.

Apart from its sheer size, LinkedInŽ offers some great tools to professionals, executives, and businesses. Of the hundreds of recruiters and hiring managers I know, most will take a look at your LinkedInŽ profile at least once during the selection process. Excited? Well, let me share one more fact about LinkedInŽ.

LinkedInŽ doubles as a "talent search engine" allowing people to find connections, talent, and business opportunities. If you have ever searched for a product online you know how the system works. Type in a keyword and millions of results will appear on the screen, anxiously awaiting your precious click. While the process looks easy, all the websites you see have poured in countless hours of work perfecting their web site copy and other factors that make it possible for the site to appear in the top ten results.

LinkedInŽ works the same way. If I type in "Nimish Thakkar" for example chances are that my LinkedInŽ profile will appear in one of the top few spots. Wouldn’t it be nice if employers could just type in a keyword and your profile appears at the very top of the pile? Technically, that is possible but a lot of effort has to be expended to achieve those rankings.

In my opinion, a well-written LinkedInŽ profile must be able to accomplish three key things: Pull the right audience to your profile; once there, attract the audience to connect with you; and finally persuade the audience that you are the right solution.

Consider the following strategies to help you achieve these three goals:

Use keywords that will connect with your audience

Creating a LinkedInŽ profile is not about just throwing in words and biographic information. You must have a well-defined goal in mind. What is the purpose of my profile? Is it primarily going to be used for networking purposes? Am I looking for work? Depending on your goals, you must use industry-appropriate keywords that will help your target audience find and connect with you.

Create a brand-focused statement for your headline

The headline must be extremely powerful. Within just a few words you must convey your top professional attributes. The headline is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your brand and position you. Instead of creating a bland statement such as "Experienced Accountant," consider creating a headline that differentiates you from the competition. Examples: Life-changing career coach who has written over 10,000 resumes; Bottom-line driven accountant who has audited Fortune 100 giants.

Network aggressively

LinkedInŽ offers a unique opportunity to individuals to connect with a global audience without ever leaving your desk. Having more connections in your network will not only generate more opportunities, it will also boost your rankings within the LinkedInŽ network.

LinkedInŽ profiles serve as mini resumes. They must convey a powerful pitch to compel potential employers to connect with you.

Nimish Thakkar is a sought-after career management coach and professional resume writer. He recently created www.DontSpendMore.com, a site that allows consumers to save hundreds of dollars every month. As a resume writer, he has helped thousands of clients through his sites, www.ResumeCorner.com and www.SaiCareers.com. Thakkar holds two graduate degrees, including an MBA. For a free resume evaluation, contact him at nimish@resumecorner.com