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Is your profile on LinkedIn?

There are more than two million people in Japan who have posted their profile on LinkedIn.

Some people think of LinkedIn as a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter.

LinkedIn is free. You do not have to pay to post your resume like some Job Boards require in Japan. You can join at:

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

However, you should think of LinkedIn as a business networking site, not a social networking like Facebook. It is used for professional networking and is, in fact, the world’s largest professional online network with over 300 million users worldwide.

Some people use LinkedIn to connect with potential business partners or customers. Many people have their profile on LinkedIn so they can be found by, and connect with, recruiters or companies who are looking for people with certain experience and skills. You can “power up” your career by having a well written LinkedIn profile. You can also use LinkedIn to learn about new jobs, new ideas, and other useful information, or to share your own thoughts and ideas with others through posts or articles.

You can sign up for a paid version of LinkedIn, which adds some extra benefits, but it is not a requirement.

Of course, just joining is not the end of the process. You want to make sure that your profile is professional and helps recruiters and companies find you. You want your profile to be optimized to help the people reading it understand who you are and what you do. This takes time the first time you do it so be prepared to spend some time on writing your profile properly. If you need to make changes a few months later (for example, you have a job change or get promoted) it only takes a few minutes to update your profile.

The following information will ensure that your LinkedIn profile is done properly and in the most professional manner.

First, you should include a recent photo. Including your picture increases the chance of recruiters viewing your profile by as much as fourteen times. Do not post a picture of your dog or cat, and do not use some cartoon character, or avatar. Remember, LinkedIn is your professional profile to the world. It is not a place to show everyone how you drink beer, or the cool t-shirt you bought in Hawaii, or your cute pet. It is a platform to present you in the most professional manner possible. Try to use a professional photo. “Selfies” are not always good photos to use. If you don’t have a professional photo have someone take your photo for you and it is best to have it taken against a neutral background. Head and shoulder shots work well and should include just you. You don’t need to include your family or coworkers in your LinkedIn profile photo. Don’t look too serious in your photo. Do not post a photo with an angry, sad, or vacant stare. Your photo should show that you are a lively and friendly person, so make sure your eyes are relaxed and you have a smile on your face. Remember, the very worst mistake you can make is not having a photo on your profile.

Next, make sure you profile is complete. The more information you include the easier it is for recruiters and potential customers (if you are a business owner) to find you. Use your full name and include your work title. Your title goes into the area called Professional Headline. Include your contact information such as email address, phone number, website, and Twitter account and make it available to your connections. If you have a Skype account you can include that too. Don’t worry, your information won’t be visible to everybody, only to your connections (the people you have connected with on LinkedIn).

For an easy to follow slide-show on how to post your profile on LinkedIn see this:

There are many helpful websites about preparing your LinkedIn profile. A basic search of “リンクトインのプロフィールの作り方” will give you a good list to help you get started.

“Connections” are the people you ask to connect with you, who accept your connection request, and people who ask you to connect, if you agree to connect with them. If someone asks you to connect on LinkedIn you can accept their request, or send them a message first asking them why they want to connect, or ignore their request. If you ignore someone’s request it’s best not to choose LinkedIn’s option of “I don’t know so-and-so.” Doing that doesn’t really help you, but it may cause the person who is asking you to connect to be blocked by LinkedIn for a period of time. Naturally, if someone keeps asking over and over, but you don’t want to connect with them, you can ignore and report as “I don’t know”, or block them from asking again, or even report them as spam.

If you are looking for a career change you can search for, and request a connection with recruiters who specialize in your area of experience. For example, if you are in the insurance industry, or e-commerce, or consumer goods you can send me a connect request by viewing my profile at, and sending me a connect request. I will appreciate it if you include a short note saying that you are connecting because you read this article. This shows me that you are a professional who cares enough about their career and connections to take a moment to write a note.

To find recruiters who specialize in your field of expertise it is best to use the Advance Search feature. In the ‘Title’ field use this string (recruiter OR recruitment OR “talent acquisition” OR staffing OR recruiting). Then, click on All Filters and in the ‘Industries’ field type in the industry you want to get work, for example, Insurance. If you enter Japan into the ‘Location’ field you should see a list of recruiters in Japan who specialize in your area of desired work.

When you make a connection, or accept a connection, you then become a first level connection with that person. This enables them to see the contact information you have chosen to share, which makes it easier to get in touch with you. If you are thinking about a career change it is best to use a personal email address, not your company email. When you are a first level connection with someone, and they are doing a search for a person with your skills and experience, your profile will be very high on the list of people they see.

You can include Keywords in your profile. These are words that potential customers, or recruiters, might type into a search. For example, if you are an actuary make sure to include words and phrases such as actuary, or pricing actuary, or product actuary. If you are an automotive engineer include Keywords appropriate to your industry and experience. Try to include at least 10 to 12 Keywords in various places in your profile. You can test this by doing a few LinkedIn searches for people who have similar to you. Pay attention to the people who are high up on the list and see what Keywords they have used and copy them. Also, use specific examples of successes in previous roles. However, don’t just cut and paste from job to job. The purpose is not to write a five-page resume, it is to provide a professional description of who you are, what you do or have done, and your expertise in your field. You can always send your resume to the recruiter or company at a later date.

Once you have your profile done you can customize your personal URL. To do this go to this link for instructions in Japanese. For example, my custom URL is I use this custom URL in my company email signature block and if someone wants to see my profile all they have to do is click on the hyper-linked LinkedIn.

Of course, it doesn’t do any good to have a profile, and hope to be contacted, if no one can see your profile. So, make sure it is visible to anyone who wants to see it. In the ‘drop down menu’ next to the word “Me” under your photo click on Settings & Privacy’ and go through the list of options.

Bilingual English and Japanese

You can have your LinkedIn profile in English, or Japanese, or both. If you are bilingual and want to talk to recruiters who recruit bilingual Japanese-English speakers, as we do in iSearch, then you should have it in both languages. If you only want to create it in one language you can choose which, but keep in mind that the non-Japanese recruiters working in the Japan market may not see your profile if you only have a Japanese version.

Now you have a LinkedIn account and your profile is all set up the way you like it. So, how do you connect with other people on LinkedIn? One thing you can do is to allow LinkedIn to scan your email accounts (you have to give LinkedIn permission to do this), after which LinkedIn will offer to send a connection invitation to anyone in your address book who is already a LinkedIn member.

Along the top line of your LinkedIn profile page you will see the words “Home”, “MyNetwork”, “Jobs”, “Messaging”, and “Notifications”. Click on “MyNetwork” and you’ll see notices of pending invitations (sent to you), a list of ‘recommended connections’, and on the left side a ‘More Options’ button. Click this ‘More Options’ button to add people from your email service. After LinkedIn has scanned your account you will be presented with a list of individuals you’ve emailed who have LinkedIn accounts using that email address. You can then select the people you know and want to connect with and LinkedIn will send them an invitation to connect with you.

You can also search for other people on LinkedIn and send them a connect invitation as long as they accept invitations (some people opt out of receiving invitations). In some cases, you may need to know the person’s email address before you can send an invitation to connect. This is because LinkedIn prevents members from spamming other members to get connections.

LinkedIn has thousands of groups and as a LinkedIn member you can join a maximum of 100 groups. To search for groups that you might be interested in joining, in the Search bar at the top of your LinkedIn homepage, type keywords or group names you might be interested in joining, then click the pull-down arrow beside “More”, then on “Groups”. For example, let’s say you are interested in developing iPhone apps. In the Search bar type in iPhone, then under “More” click on “Groups”.  You’ll see that there are over 1,800 groups whose members have a similar interest. For example, the “Mobile Experts – Android – iPhone” group has over 171,000 members. If you want to be a member of this group, click on the group’s name, then on the Request to Join button. Another group you might want to join is “Nihongo de リンクトイン!” Once you’re a member of a group you can post a conversation to the whole group. Just don’t SPAM them or you may be removed from the group by the group’s moderator.

As you can see, there is so much you can do with a LinkedIn profile. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn account sign up today. If you have an account, review it and bring it up to date by editing your profile, work information, or anything else you want to edit.

Thanks for reading and please follow our iSearch LinkedIn page by clicking here.

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