Article Summary: LinkedIn is an integral part of your job search. LinkedIn complements and extends your credibility and therefore enhances your attractiveness as a job candidate. Imagine you were an executive comparing two candidates—both with stellar credentials. One has only a resume, while the other presents a resume and a well-messaged LinkedIn profile, complete with glowing recommendations from former bosses, colleagues, staff, and clients. Whom would you prefer to interview? The power of LinkedIn is the access it provides to information about you, information that you define and control, and information not available anywhere else. This article focuses on optimizing your LinkedIn content and messaging. [This article was originally written for the American Marketing Association Executive Circle]
LINKEDIN FOR JOB HUNTERS – TIPS TO CREATE A MUST-READ PROFILE
Copyright © 2010. The Chief Storyteller®, LLC.
Ira J. Koretsky
LinkedIn is an integral part of your job search. LinkedIn complements and extends your credibility and therefore enhances your attractiveness as a job candidate. Imagine you were an executive comparing two candidates—both with stellar credentials. One has only a resume, while the other presents a resume and a well-messaged LinkedIn profile, complete with glowing recommendations from former bosses, colleagues, staff, and clients. Whom would you prefer to interview?
The power of LinkedIn is the access it provides to information about you, information that you define and control, and information not available anywhere else.
Some food for thought:
- There are 80,000 million members of LinkedIn
- Most of the Fortune 500 has at least some of their executive team on LinkedIn
- For some companies, LinkedIn is used as a crucial filter to determine whether to bring someone in for an interview
- In a typical Internet search of a person’s name, LinkedIn appears on the first page of search results, and usually in the first five links
This article focuses on optimizing your LinkedIn content and messaging…
Here are some tips to create a must-read profile.
1. CREATE A MEMORABLE PROFESSIONAL HEADLINE
Use the Professional Headline field to make a first impression that screams, “Read me now.” By default, LinkedIn populates your Professional Headline with your current title and company (see picture below). Many members do not change it. Click the gray pencil beside your title and customize it to a powerful headline that grabs the reader’s attention. A compelling headline is the foundation of business storytelling. Think of it as your personal brand statement. This is your Better Tomorrow MessageTM – how you are going to improve the prospective company in terms of efficiency, expertise, money, time, etc. As in Example 2, it should summarize your potential value.
Some examples include “Building Great Brands for 25 Years,” “Growing Departments into Divisions,” and “Positioning Fortune 2000 Companies for Explosive Growth.” Your headline should represent your personal AND your professional self.
2. MAKE YOUR SUMMARY ENGAGING AND COMPELLING
Follow up your memorable and customized Professional Headline with an informative and compelling Summary. Make it easy to read and engaging. Use bullet statements, short sentences and paragraphs, search-engine friendly words and phrases, and industry buzzwords.
For content in your Summary, read “How to Write a Resume Summary That Gets Screams ‘Schedule an Interview with Me Today!‘” There, you will find several specific suggestions with examples. Ensure your LinkedIn summary contains the exact same information from your resume, fleshed out with relevant details. Choose details to pique your reader’s interest and help you stand out. As in business, know your audience. What would your readers find interesting about you? Examples include brief success stories, high-impact accomplishments, guest lectureships, volunteer activities, experiences with hot trends, etc.
3. IMPROVE YOUR CREDIBILITY
Ask for recommendations to demonstrate your credibility and capability. Recommendations from professionals who know your work first hand differentiate you. They serve as “mini” business stories to tout the benefits of working with you and your organization. Ask current and former bosses, staff, co-workers, colleagues, partners, clients and vendors.
In fact, offer to help write it to ensure your key words and messages are included in the testimonial. Each recommendation should tell a different and complementary story about your personal and professional life and successes. I suggest you create a spreadsheet and group your skills logically per recommendation (see below).
|Good project manager||x||x||x|
|Easy to work with||x||x||x||x|
|Confident in boardroom||x||x||x|
SPEND THE TIME
Use the LinkedIn search function. Type in your desired position title. See how people already in these positions present themselves. By spending just a few hours, you can create a LinkedIn profile to be proud of. And, over time, ask for recommendations, tweak the search-engine-friendly terms as well as industry buzzwords, and continually add to and update your content. Ask friends and colleagues for feedback. And then accept the feedback with a smile and say thank you. LinkedIn should be an important tool in your job search.