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Laura Smith-Proulx, LinkedIn Job Search Expert and LinkedIn for Executives Expert

Laura Smith-Proulx

Laura Smith-Proulx, Executive Director of An Expert Resume, has been a career professional since the early 1990's, establishing her own business in 1998.  She is an executive resume writer, national columnist, author, LinkedIn and SEO enthusiast, and past recruiter.

Laura holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems and Journalism from the University of Wisconsin. She is credentialed as a Twitter Career Strategist, Professional Resume Writer, Career Management Coach, Reach 360 Personal Brand Analyst, and Interview Coach through Career Coach Academy, the Professional Association of Resume Writers, and Reach Communications.

A columnist and contributor to Examiner, The Denver Post, and other media outlets, she educates job seekers on best practices in executive job search, career marketing, personal branding, and LinkedIn optimization.

Winner of more than 30 Career Directors International annual TORI (Toast of the Resume Industry) competition, Laura has authored How to Get Hired Faster: 60+ Proven Tips and Strategies to Access the Hidden Job Market, with resumes selected for publication in 8 career industry books.

A job search strategist who combines corporate experience with a lifelong passion for writing, she partners with leadership candidates to develop branded resume and executive portfolios, plus optimum strategies for a memorable digital identity through LinkedIn.

For more information about Laura, check out these links:


Articles by Laura Smith-Proulx

New Articles

  • The Secret to Building Credibility with Recruiters: Gather Solid LinkedIn Recommendations
    Looked at others' LinkedIn Profiles during your job search? Noticed the Recommendations section? Recruiters, hiring managers, interviewers, and potential new co-workers WILL be interested in reviewing these publicly stated testaments to the quality of your work. While LinkedIn accolades may seem gratuitous on the surface, they are often viewed and can carry substantial weight, particularly for people who don't know you. In other words, if you have not gathered many referrals, it is time to get moving!
  • Serious LinkedIn Mistakes Making You Hard to Find
    As an executive on LinkedIn, you might find it challenging to be seen and heard above the other 690 million-plus other users. You might also be unaware, however, of the ways you are actually blocking or preventing others from seeing your Profile. These include valuable changes to commonly misunderstood settings and new content that can greatly boost your rankings in employer searches.
  • LinkedIn Tips for Job Seekers Over 50
    If you are over 50, considering a job search, and have not updated LinkedIn or created a Profile, you could be in a tough spot. Today, more than ever before, employers and recruiters expect to find your credentials on the site. They also expect you to be reasonably social media-savvy in general, and your LinkedIn Profile and activities demonstrate that you are savvy.
  • Executives: Your LinkedIn Summary Is Now the About Section –- and It Is More Important Than Ever
    You may have noticed significant changes to your LinkedIn Profile... Now, the introductory section is called About (similar to a website page that describes the person or organization behind the site). If you are not filling in this section with good content, you're missing a golden opportunity to educate employers, colleagues, recruiters, team members, bosses, Boards of Directors, and the professional world about your competencies, value proposition, leadership, and approach to your work.
  • Launch (or Re-Launch) LinkedIn for Your Executive Job Search
    Ready to launch an executive job hunt – but feeling daunted by all there is to learn about LinkedIn? If you've long neglected LinkedIn during a busy executive career, you're hardly alone. Plenty of leaders are reluctant to publish career information online due to confidentiality reasons or because they're unsure what data to publish.
  • Take Your Executive LinkedIn Profile from Basic to Best-in-Class
    Need to expand your presence on LinkedIn – but confused about how to promote yourself without taking overt steps? You may have created a basic Profile outlining your work history and education, then stopped while your career took off, with little time to use it or supply more details.
  • How Your LinkedIn Activities Impact Your Personal Brand
    If you’re like most LinkedIn users, you probably log into the site, look at your Home page and status feed, and start reacting. But did you realize these simple actions form a personal branding message visible to everyone?
  • Will LinkedIn’s Resume Assistant Help You Write a Great Resume?
    By now, you’ve probably heard about the new LinkedIn Resume Assistant feature, which is touted as a tool to help Microsoft Office365 users develop a strong resume by scanning relevant job postings and LinkedIn user information. Essentially, the application allows you to shortcut the analysis required to write your resume.
  • 5 Secrets to a Knockout LinkedIn Profile Summary
    Want to quickly distinguish yourself from job-hunting competition on LinkedIn? Look no further than your LinkedIn Summary. The "elevator pitch" of your social media profile, a powerful Summary can compel employers to take a second look at you for their needs, particularly the first two lines.
  • Grab Recruiter Attention with LinkedIn Projects
    Seeking more ways to attract employer and professional interest on LinkedIn? Look beyond the commonly used areas of the site (such as Summary, Experience, or Education) and into the Projects section. The Projects section is a powerful part of LinkedIn, impacting the site's search algorithm.
  • Leverage LinkedIn Smartly When You Are Unemployed
    Newly unemployed and facing those first steps to get back into the job market? Unemployed for a while and still struggling? Or, working for an employer in the process of "down-sizing" and/or "off-shoring?"
  • How to Connect with Recruiters on LinkedIn
    Planning to reach out to recruiters during your job search, but don't know how to approach them? You're in luck. It's easier than ever to find recruiters who specialize in your field by using LinkedIn - and even better, they're often receptive to your queries from the site. One very effective way to connect with recruiters is to attract them to your LinkedIn profile.
  • How to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile's Findability
    By now, LinkedIn has become one of the most active job search hubs online, with plenty of site users either resorting to stealth-mode tactics or openly displaying their availability to prospective employers. No matter the method, they're all looking for one thing: more attention from hiring decision-makers.
  • Fast Formula for a Powerful LinkedIn Professional Headline
    Your LinkedIn Profile isn't just a placeholder – it has a job to do! By marketing you effectively, it serves as your digital identity and an online promotional workhorse. As the most highly indexed part of your Profile (next to your name), your Headline allows recruiters and employers to locate you, based on the search terms or keywords you specify.

Guide to LinkedIn for Job Search

  • Leverage LinkedIn Smartly When You Are Unemployed
    Newly unemployed and facing those first steps to get back into the job market? Unemployed for a while and still struggling? Or, working for an employer in the process of "down-sizing" and/or "off-shoring?"

Setting Up an Effective LinkedIn Presence:

  • 3 Reasons Your LinkedIn Profile Is Failing You
    Is your job search dragging on with no end in sight? If so, there could be simple reasons why you're experiencing a slow job search. Take a look at these LinkedIn issues (common to frustrated candidates), along with quick fixes to get better results:
  • Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile Headline for Your Job Search
    Using LinkedIn for your job search? You might have assumed, as many others do, that your mere presence on the site is enough to make your Profile findable by employers and recruiters. However, the key information used in some LinkedIn Profile fields can actually make a huge difference in the way employers become aware of your qualifications.
  • The Best LinkedIn Job Title When You Are Unemployed
    Dealing with the current-job question for your LinkedIn Profile can be a hassle. At LinkedIn's urging, most users try to update their Profiles as completely as possible, yet entering a current job can seem over-the-top when you're unemployed.
  • 5 Secrets to a Knockout LinkedIn Profile Summary
    Want to quickly distinguish yourself from job-hunting competition on LinkedIn? Look no further than your LinkedIn Summary.
  • Refusing or Accepting LinkedIn Connections
    Reluctant to accept LinkedIn invitations to connect from new contacts? Trying to limit your network to only people you already know? If you're still stuck on (or refusing to) accepting Connections that come your way via LinkedIn, here are some key points to consider:
  • Hidden LinkedIn Networking Tool: Education
    Want to boost your networking power – and job search results – past the typical connect-and-wait method of interaction on LinkedIn? LinkedIn's Education section (also called College Alumni) is one of the site's hidden gems that can make your networking activity much easier.
  • How to Leverage Your LinkedIn Competitors
    If you're using LinkedIn only to provide some history on your qualifications and to seek out job listings, you're missing a great opportunity to assess (and leverage) your competitive edge.
  • How to Double (or Triple) Your LinkedIn Visitor Traffic with the Right Keywords
    Wondering how to get more people to visit your LinkedIn Profile? The secret for increasing traffic to your LinkedIn Profile is to apply effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques.
  • How to Gather LinkedIn Recommendations for Your Job Search
    Looked at others' LinkedIn Profiles during your job search? You're probably aware of the numerous endorsements (also called LinkedIn Recommendations) that these users have displayed on the site. Look at these potential sources for great recommendations:
  • How Recruiters View LinkedIn Profile Photos
    For years, job hunters have been told that their resume should arrive sans photo in order to avoid discrimination (either in their favor or against them). Now, we're being urged to provide a photo in order to be considered for a new job, all due to the new "normal" that is LinkedIn. What gives?
  • Optimize the Contact Information on Your LinkedIn Profile
    This might seem like a no-brainer, but many people who believe they're not getting anything out of LinkedIn have forgotten to make themselves accessible – and in the simplest way possible. Follow these tips to ensure that you're not missing out on potential messages or interactions.

LinkedIn and Stealth Job Search:

  • 3 Ways to Update Your LinkedIn Profile Unobtrusively
    Do you want to use LinkedIn for your job search, but worried that your employer will find out? Worried that your boss or colleagues will react negatively to changes in your LinkedIn Profile? You are smart to be cautious!

LinkedIn and Recruiters:

  • How to Connect with Recruiters Using LinkedIn
    Planning to reach out to recruiters during your job search, but don't know how to approach them? You're in luck. It's easier than ever to find recruiters who specialize in your field by using LinkedIn - and even better, they're often receptive to your queries from the site.
  • How Your LinkedIn Profile May Be Turning Off Recruiters
    Ready to make LinkedIn work harder for you, but unsure how to generate activity from the site? Confused as to why your Profile viewers never get in touch with you? Here's a list of ways you might be dissuading hiring authorities from reaching out to you online.
  • What Employers Wish YOU Knew About LinkedIn
    Trying to figure out why others have great stories about being hired off LinkedIn, while you still can't get any traction from it? The reason might be how you're using the site—and how others view your transparency (or lack of it) in your online activity.

Using LinkedIn Effectively:

  • Grab Employer Interest (and LinkedIn Traffic) with Your Success Stories
    Have you noticed that, when you describe your major accomplishments for each job (as you must!) in the Experience section of your LinkedIn Profile, your resume is too long to fit? Or that it's difficult to explain your achievements in the tight space allotted?
  • How to Use LinkedIn for a Competitive Edge
    You might be all "settled in" using LinkedIn – updating your Profile, gaining new Connections, researching companies, applying to jobs, and even issuing some Status Updates. But did you think of using it to research your competition? Here are some ways to evaluate (and effectively utilize) the competition in your field.
  • How to Advance Your Job Search with LinkedIn's Advanced People Search
    You might be keeping up with current contacts on LinkedIn, following Companies, or applying to Jobs listed on the site. But did you know there are other ways to find employers or career opportunities by using the Advanced People Search function?
  • How to Leverage LinkedIn Updates for Your Job Search
    If you're even an occasional LinkedIn user, you've surely noticed that, upon logging into the site, there are numerous Updates listed on your Home page. Here, new connections, blog posts, polls, quotes, and other bits of information scroll past during each view of the page.
  • How to Maximize LinkedIn Broadcasts
    Trying to decide how "open" to be on LinkedIn, or attempting to tone down your job search activity? A major consideration for you is your employment status. Those who have jobs to protect have different concerns than those who are unemployed.
  • Solving the Duplicate LinkedIn Profiles Problem
    Oops! Do you have 2 or more LinkedIn Profiles? Not a good idea. Seriously. Multiple Profiles are against LinkedIn's terms of use, which could get all Profiles deleted, and they can cause you other problems that can damage your job search.

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LinkedIn Job Search Guide

How LinkedIn Helps Your Job Search:

Use LinkedIn Effectively:

Set Up a Successful LinkedIn Presence:


LinkedIn and Stealth Job Search:

Manage Special Situations with LinkedIn

LinkedIn for Personal Online Reputation Management

LinkedIn and Recruiters:

More About LinkedIn on

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