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Years ago, hunting for a job in IT meant sprucing up your resume, getting your recommendations in order, and scouring the classifieds for places to send your cover letter. And just as it’s made its mark on so many other things (like your career path!), the internet has added a lot of new variables and opportunities to the job search process. One such change is the creation and proliferation of LinkedIn, a professional networking site that many now use to increase their presence, clout, and job opportunities.

If you’re on the hunt for a job in IT, step one is making sure your LinkedIn profile is fully up to date. Prospective employers will be searching for you online – and ensuring that they find a current, informative profile is crucial. Here are some other tips for making your LinkedIn profile stand out above the rest.

Be Thorough

LinkedIn allows you to showcase awards, accomplishments, project samples, and even product patents. Use keywords related to your certifications throughout your profile to improve your SEO and attractiveness to recruiters as well as common acronyms that job recruiters are seeking. Don’t be shy; this is your chance to make your certifications and accomplishments shine!

Be Relevant

While you want to be thorough, be careful of being too thorough.  There is no need to list irrelevant or outdated certifications. You should also avoid listing basic skills employers can safely assume you already have. For example, job candidates for an IT position should already know how to use Microsoft Word. Unless you have an advanced certification in Word, there is no need to list it as a skill.

Follow Companies that Interest You

Connecting with IT companies you’re excited about will give you first dibs on job postings and portray you as someone who makes the effort to show your interest. It is also worthwhile to comment or like their company updates – as you never know when name recognition may come in handy.

Use a Professional Photo

Nothing says amateur like a low-quality, low-resolution photo that you scanned and cropped out your best friend. Take the time to get a high-quality image of you in professional attire for your profile. It’s as easy as asking a friend with a great camera to take a good photo of you, or paying a little money to hire a professional. Either way, a first-rate profile picture matters!

Showcasing Your IT Certifications

You took the extra step to earn your IT certifications, so make sure to highlight them prominently! LinkedIn has an entire ‘Certification’ section where you can list and link to every certification you hold so viewers can read more in depth about what the certifications entail. LinkedIn even has a ‘Courses’ section, which lets you highlight relevant non-certification courses you’ve taken.

LinkedIn Groups

Emphasize your interest and connect with others in your chosen field by joining LinkedIn groups for IT professionals. You may have to make a request to join the group, but once you’re in, it’s well worth it.

Some of the most highly populated groups include:

It will take some time, but the effort you put into making your profile great will pay off in the long run. So sit down, get settled, and go from LinkedIn newbie to All-Star.

If you’re looking to add a few more IT certifications to your resume, contact ONLC today.

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