LinkedIn is, without a doubt, the best networking, platform available to job seekers and recruiters. There are some basics that Jim Carman of MOAA indicates are musts.

This past week members of the MOAA career management team visited the LinkedIn Picture Opportunity Tour in Washington, D.C. (tour details are available at Here are some of the mostfrequently asked questions and answers for LinkedIn best practices from theMOAA career transition team, selected outside consultants and the LinkedIn Opportunity Tour staff.• Q: How should I prepare to write my LinkedIn profile?• A: From the LinkedIn staff – “Your profile is the front page of your story.” Summarize your experience in two to three concise sentences. Describe your major wins or projects in each of your recent positions and explain how you delivered value to your team.

• Q: Who should I connect with on LinkedIn? I’m receiving invitations all the time from people I have never met or barely know.

• A: Opinions vary but a consensus emerges that it’s best to use LinkedIn to supplement an existing relationship. In most cases, there must be some meaningful interaction before connecting on LinkedIn; for example, a meeting, phone call or pull-aside at a professional conference. The exceptions may be connecting with recruiters, especially if you’re contemplating a job change, and connecting with people who work in your industry or have very similar professional backgrounds and interests.

• Q: If I’m transitioning out of military service, should my LinkedIn photo be in uniform or in civilian business attire?

• A: Career transition experts agree that you should dress for the job you want; not the job you have. Also, avoid selfies and family photos. Everything about your presentation needs to exude professionalism. And don’t be afraid to smile!

• Q: Should my LinkedIn headline reflect my current position or job status, or should I use the headline to promote my core skills?

• A: Career transition experts and recruiters in our network agree that a LinkedIn profile headline should reflect core skills and personal brand, rather than a current job title. Additionally, since it’s best to have a job when you’re looking for a job, LinkedIn headlines reflecting your current status in transition are not helpful. When recruiters and employers search LinkedIn using advanced people search techniques, they load key words and job titles descriptive of the positions they’re seeking to fill. Another idea to consider is listing your e-mail address or phone number at the end of your LinkedIn profile headline. Remember the advice of LinkedIn expert Jason Alba: “The objective of your LinkedIn profile is to increase your chances of being found and to effectively communicate information about you.”

• Q: Please explain how the LinkedIn Public Profile differs from the LinkedIn Profile.

• A: Your LinkedIn Profile is what your connections see when they are logged into LinkedIn. Your Public Profile is what people — both connections and others — see if they are not logged into LinkedIn. Returning to Jason Alba’s advice: “It’s important to think about what to show and what to hide.” Access Account and Settings at the right side of the main navigation bar under your miniature photo. Click first on Privacy and Settings — Review. Then click on Edit Your Public Profile under the settings column, where you can choose what to show and hide on a single screen. After editing your Public Profile settings, note that the next box down on the right side of the screen allows you to customize your Public Profile URL. Consider changing this to your noun name, or something close, in order to maximize your search engine visibility. And, add your customized URL to your resume header, business cards and e-mail signature block.

Go to, click on the “Looking for People” tab, then view “Veterans Solutions” to see more for information on our Veterans Solutions for Employers. Please join our LinkedIn group, Veterans Hiring Solutions for Veterans at If you have specific questions about hiring veterans or the incentives for doing so, contact me at [email protected].


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