By Scott Kleinberg, Tribune Newspapers
August 15, 2013
LinkedIn has a lot of people talking with its new mobile job application feature, where you can actually apply for some jobs right from your phone. Listings that allow this feature are dependent on your LinkedIn profile to provide the necessary information in lieu of an attached resume or cover letter.
While LinkedIn explains that you get the option to edit your profile right on the app before applying, you should probably have that taken care of before you reach this point. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you apply to increase your chances of being contacted for an interview.
Update, check and recheck your contact information: Have you changed email providers? Got a new cell phone number? Check and recheck that if an employer wants to reach out that it's easy for them to do so. And while you're updating, update the other sections too. If there's a pertinent project at work or something you've neglected to add, now is the time to do so.
Say cheese — a bio photo is mandatory: I talk about this on every platform, and I can't stress it enough here. You need to have a photo to be taken seriously. It's not about looks, it's about attention to detail. To stress the importance of a bio photo, I won't follow anyone on any platform that's a faceless icon. On Twitter, I call these people eggs because Twitter's generic profile photo looks like an egg. Don't be an egg.
Spelling counts, and so does grammar: While the mobile application process is meant to save time, it's not meant to be an easy way out of doing the work. Mistakes no matter how small on a job application, whether in print or electronic, are unforgivable. If your profile is sloppy, don't be surprised if you don't make the cut.
Check your endorsements: While it's nice of LinkedIn to allow your friends to praise you for your abilities and skills, sometimes these get unwieldy. You control which skills appear on your profile, but you should still look them over because it's easy to post something without realizing it. You don't want to see that you are incorrectly or jokingly endorsed for shirtless dancing after you apply.
Don't stop at LinkedIn: Remember that it's just one way to potentially get your foot in the door. Use your other social media skills to reach out to the right people and increase your chances of being noticed. When the competition for a job is fierce, every extra bit of digital footwork is going to benefit.
Remember: You don't have to be changing careers to pay attention to LinkedIn. Now that you're thinking about it, it's a great time to take a few minutes and spruce up your profile. Get it as ready as you can and you won't be left scrambling when it really counts.
What questions do you have about social media? Tweet them to @scottkleinberg or @amyguth. We might select yours for use in a future column.
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