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Using LinkedIn efficiently can aid a job hunt. [Image: C. Ossett/Flickr]

LinkedIn is, for many, a go-to resource in a job hunt. But beyond looking for jobs on the network, or informing your contacts of seeking a change, how else can LinkedIn be a useful tool in a job hunt? The answer often hinges on having a well-crafted LinkedIn profile.

Bruce Kasanoff, a ghostwriter by trade and LinkedIn “Influencer” (a member of an invitation-only network of “the world’s foremost thinkers, leaders, and innovators”), says that there are three things your LinkedIn profile must communicate to potential hires. In a Forbes article he wrote, “The Three Questions Your LinkedIn Profile Must Answer,” he says that the more than 400 million LinkedIn users fail to communicate clear and concise professional summaries of their skills and achievements. To do so, he recommends the following:

  • Describe your focus: Your profile should plainly define what’s important to you, says Kasanoff—whether that’s improving technology systems or helping students advance through education. Convey what your primary mission and interest is, and how you’ve spent your career pursuing this path.
  • Communicate your skills: Explain your strengths, talents and technical skills—all the things that draw people to seek you out in projects or roles. This will help readers understand what you do extremely well. After all, Kasanoff quips, “No one in history has ever exclaimed, ‘Quick! Find me a generalist!’”
  • Showcase your network: Future employers may be interested in who else of value you can send their way, be it another hire or client. And, he says, if your network is spread out across the globe or located in one central area, highlight that, as a business may be looking to break into exactly that market or a nearby one.

By creating a clear and vivid picture of who you are professionally, LinkedIn can become a much more valuable tool than just a resume summary.