A LinkedIn profile is essentially a marketing document. The big question is:
Who are you marketing to?
When you are in a sales role, you should be using it to your advantage to promote your services to your customer. When you are on the job market, you should be promoting YOURSELF to potential employers and recruiters.
So, for example, in my current role, I am not on the job market. In my profile, you will see me explaining my background and story to potential clients. I want people to understand why they might want to work with me. If I were going to be looking for a job, I would change my profile around to list my “Recruiter of the Month” awards and talk about my billing stats so that I would stand out to potential employers.
So, let’s look at your LinkedIn profile!
For the purposes of this article, we will look at your profile when you are on the job market. What’s important? Here are 6 keys of a winning LinkedIn profile:
Use a professional photo. Make sure that it is not a selfie, doesn’t have anyone else in the shot, and is a clean, basic photo that shows you as warm and friendly without being weird. (We all really enjoy the weird ones, but it probably won’t get you the job. Just sayin’!)
Use LinkedIn as your online resume. This should be pretty simple. It should match your resume exactly. Make sure dates and jobs match. Recruiters are trying to find you using search terms, so the more robust your profile is, the more likely we are to find you! Once we find you, it’s very helpful if we have a good idea of what you do, and if your profile exactly matches, you get an A+. Also, always lead with accomplishments.
Use the summary section. This is an added section for you to give a little flavor. You can tell what you’re great at, what you love and why, what motivates you, whatever you choose. It’s an additional place to tell a potential employer a little bit about what’s special about you.
Hopefully you have been well-liked throughout your career. Ask for some recommendations. Give some, too! If an employer can see what someone else says about your work, that goes a long way.
Write articles. LinkedIn has a very powerful tool for you to self-publish. You are an expert in what you do! There’s no better way for you to get noticed in your industry than to show off your knowledge. Then, those articles are housed on your profile for anyone to see when they visit your profile page in the future.
Click “open to opportunity”. This is how recruiters know that you are officially “on the market”!
These basic tips should help showcase you as a polished, top-performing, expert in your industry who is now available for the taking. Happy hunting!
Please feel free to reach out to me anytime for more personal career advice, always happy to help!
Alanna Cochran, Sr. Recruiter
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