LinkedIn has become the recruiter’s resource, so there are some things you need to know to attract attention. First and foremost, a LinkedIn profile is not a resume, so if you are copying resume text onto the site, you are overlooking a unique branding opportunity.
Think of your profile as a landing place where anyone who needs to know you from a business perspective can discover what you want them to know about you. If you want to attract recruiters and/or potential customers, then you need to present yourself in a way that attracts positive attention and sets you apart from the competition.
A profile without a professional headshot is anonymous; the reader will not be able to distinguish you from any other faceless candidate. Wear business attire and smile as though you mean it. A good photographer will edit out blemishes and shadows. You would groom impeccably for an interview, no? Social media appeals because it engages, and LinkedIn is social media. Why not take advantage of the digital platform to make a good first impression and make it easy for a recruiter or customer to make a warm call?
Carefully targeting your message is a foundational marketing principle. You don’t need to appeal to everyone, only to those who need the talents, strengths and deliverables you are offering, so your message must resonate with that target audience.
The text on your profile will be searched for keywords by recruiters, so using the generic title your employer has given you may be selling yourself short. How many recruiters will be searching for Executive Vice President or CEO? Without an industry or function, that’s a clear waste of the recruiter’s time. What do you want to be known or recognized for? You have 120 allotted spaces available in the headline area below your name to establish a strong brand identity, so don’t waste the opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition.
Use the summary section with its 1200 allotted spaces to make a compelling argument for reaching out to you for a business or employment opportunity. Feel free to use first person and show how you’ve overcome challenges to make a difference in the organization or business you’re in.
Since recruiters cannot search uploaded resumes for keywords, you are wasting valuable real estate. Instead, why not upload a presentation you’ve given or a brief video that showcases your talents or your poise under pressure? Use your imagination here and you’ll reap rewards far beyond your investment of time.
Ellie Vargo, MRW, CCMC