Every day, employers and recruiters comb LinkedIn to find fresh, available talent available for hot job opportunities. But are they locating YOU – and selecting you as a prime candidate for a great job? If not, your LinkedIn Profile might be letting them (and you) down, with insufficient detail and a lack of brand messaging to tell them they’re in the right place. Take a close look at your Profile to see if you’ve missed out on some great opportunities by committing these errors:
1. You’ve Neglected Your SummaryThe most powerful tool for showcasing brand value, your LinkedIn Summary, merits special attention. However, if you’ve left it blank (or worse – stuffed in a few nondescript phrases about your reputation as a “team player”), you’ve just missed out on a huge opportunity for promotion. If you’re ignoring the Summary section because you don’t know what to write, then make a quick list of all the reasons someone should hire you, combined with the highlights of your career:
- Advanced degrees, certifications, or other notable credentials
- Success stories that exemplify your work style
- Specific skills, technology abilities, and leadership competencies
- Desirable patterns in your career, such as a record of quick promotion
As an IT leader, I’ve earned progressive promotions from project and infrastructure leadership to the role of CIO at XYZ Corporation. During our growth to a multibillion-dollar force in healthcare, my work has aligned a 300-member IT staff with stakeholder needs for business process improvement and cloud-enabled solutions. Upon earning an Executive Leadership certificate from Stanford University, I’ve also worked closely with the Board and CEO to make our company the first industry leader using mobile technology support to users.Note the use of keywords (healthcare, cloud-enabled solutions, infrastructure leadership, mobile technology, stakeholder needs, business process improvement, etc.) As you can see, a branded and powerful Summary is all in how you frame career experience and pull it together for promotional impact.
2. You’re Still Using Long Chunks Of (Unreadable) TextIf you believe long paragraphs are difficult to read on a resume, try navigating them online! Unfortunately, many LinkedIn users simply transfer a wordy resume to their Profile – posing a challenge to employers who want to quickly surf it for key skills. Instead, try examining each resume sentence for value and breaking it into shorter, easier-to-navigate pieces of information. As an example, “Grew account volume 32% with new alliance-building strategy, created sales education webinar series, and hired 24 sales executives for national account support” can be transformed into:
- 32% more accounts from alliance-building strategy - Better customer service from 24 sales hires trained via new webinarsAs you condense your message into tightly written sentences, you’ll find it easier to concentrate on keywords and quantifiable evidence of your talents.
3. Your Experience Section Reads Like A Series Of Job Descriptions“Responsible for coordinating the daily operations for the sales department” probably won’t wake up anyone who reads your Profile. However, “Streamlined the Sales function to provide reps with shortcuts to product materials, contributing to 12% more revenue” might do the trick. The fastest way to give your Experience section more punch is to add metrics and describe how your initiative created more… more customers, more profit, or more cost savings. Employers would rather see the specifics than try to figure out how you added value. Brainstorm a list of quantifiable accomplishments using that old standby, the C-A-R format (Challenge-Action-Result) strategy, then tighten each sentence down to short, meaningful statements. If you’ve realized you’re missing out on some great self-marketing opportunities, it’s never too late to give your LinkedIn Profile a boost. Value-specific, metrics-laden content might convince employers and recruiters to give you a second look. Enjoy this article? You've got time for another! Check out these related articles:
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