A chain is only as strong as…
➔ You’ve probably heard people go on ad nauseam about how important LinkedIn has become to today’s job seeker. Well, they’re right. It is important. And here are some tips to help you make your LinkedIn profile work for you.
Before you start, keep in mind that your LinkedIn profile is not the mirror image of your resume. Your resume is still very important, but it serves a different purpose.
There is a difference
Resumes are more of a straight listing of where you’ve been, what you’ve done and where you’ve done it. Your LinkedIn profile provides more personal insight into who you are as a working person. As trivial as it may sound, many recruiters and hiring managers point out that presenting your LinkedIn profile in the first person does make a difference.
For starters, when you create your LinkedIn account, the software automatically generates a random URL for your page. By going through your “settings,” you can edit this URL to highlight your name. (i.e. www.linkedin.com/JohnDoe)
But don’t stop there. Be sure to include your LinkedIn URL on your resume as well as your business cards (if you have them.) As a job seeker, you want to direct as many people as possible to your LinkedIn page and make it as easy as possible for them to find you.
Second, at the very top of your LinkedIn profile – right after your name, is your headline where you get to simply state who you are – which has nothing to do with a job title. This is good because you don’t have a job. This is not a job title (i.e. Director of…, Regional Manager…) This is your chance to say who you are and what you do… and, if it applies, where you’ve done it.
But keep it simple. “Experienced operations professional.” “Top-producing B2B sales leader.” “Cost cutting specialist.”
LinkedIn will throw you a curve by asking for your current position. But you don’t have one. Still, you need to include something. And that something should not come across as “seeking new position”; “exploring new opportunities”; or the dreaded, “in transition.” But it’s important to include something. “Volunteering with…” “Consultant.” You need to show that you are involved at some level.
This is important because you need to make your profile as complete as possible. LinkedIn experts claim that complete profiles receive 40× more hits than profiles with gaps.
And LinkedIn doesn’t like gaps… and neither do people doing the hiring.