Making the Right Impression on LinkedIn
If you have a LinkedIn profile but no hiring manager has contacted you, you’re not presenting yourself the right way. It’s not like employers will start flooding your inbox merely by virtue of your profile existing—you have to grab their attention. You’ve included a professional picture, highlighted your skills, and provided examples of previous work, but still nothing. So, what are you doing wrong?
It’s time to give your LinkedIn profile a makeover to send the right message, but not before giving your resume a makeover—consult our resume experts to ensure it is in excellent shape before proceeding with your LinkedIn profile.
When overhauling your LinkedIn profile, think of it as a TV advertisement. You want to tell hiring managers as much about yourself as possible in a very short amount of time, which means everything on your profile needs to be meaningful, concise, and precise. Every single word should be there for a reason, adding value to your personal marketing campaign.
With that in mind, let’s dissect your LinkedIn profile.
Your LinkedIn tagline can be extremely effective, but only if done correctly. Keywords from your tagline are used to match you with job descriptions, so choose your words with great care. Your tagline must also be concise and precise since you have limited space.
In under 10 words, describe the position you’re looking for. If you want to change careers, don’t mention your current position in your tagline as that will cause hiring managers to overlook you.
Be specific in your tagline, too. If you use general statements, you’ll miss out on opportunities. To craft the best tagline, study other people’s profiles and get inspiration to construct the perfect tagline for you. If you’re still at a loss, try asking around—friends, family, or current colleagues (if they’re in on your job search) may have some great ideas.
When you create a LinkedIn profile, the temptation is to make yourself look better than you really are, but it’s important to be honest about your experience. Don’t call yourself “experienced” if you’ve only worked in a given field for a year. In general, four years in a particular field is considered “experienced.”
If that’s not you, don’t sweat it! Use other phrases, such as “proven efficient in . . .” or “broadening experience in . . .” Whatever you decide to go with, keep in mind that recruiters look for honesty. Lies are easy to uncover, and no hiring manager will want to hire a liar. If you do get the job based on your dishonest LinkedIn profile, you’ll pay for that down the line when your performance inevitably reveals the truth.
When recruiters view your profile, they’ll examine your qualifications to see if you would be a good fit for their company. If you don’t give them enough information regarding your skills, education, professional development, and other areas, they’ll assume you don’t meet their standards.
You may feel uncomfortable listing your skills, qualifications, and accomplishments for fear of appearing boastful, but if you don’t give a recruiter a reason to hire you, they’ll just move on. Be confident but not cocky, presenting your skills in a positive yet truthful light. List any accomplishments and training that make you more qualified for the job you’re pursuing—try to include anything that’s relevant and helpful. Don’t miss out on an opportunity by providing insufficient information.
There is, however, one piece of information that may be wise to omit—your age. If a hiring manager prefers a younger candidate, they could filter out the older ones, but if your age isn’t displayed, they can’t shut you out. Also, be sure not to include dates on education or positions more than ten years old since that can give away your age.
If you’ve had three jobs in the past year, listing all of them could get recruiters concerned about your level of commitment. They look for credibility and loyalty, so pick the job that’s most relevant to the position you’re after. Do include the skills you learned in the other jobs, but don’t list the actual jobs. Too much information can be just as harmful as not enough information.
Of course, it also depends on your individual work history. If you’ve been working multiple jobs simultaneously or jobs that are temporary by nature, listing all of them may not hurt you. Make your own judgment based on your situation.
The overall impression
As you evaluate different aspects of your profile, always consider the impression you’re leaving. Research examples of good LinkedIn profiles and invite critique of yours. Ask friends and family members to view it and give feedback on the impression it makes. That said, you should take the opinions of your close ones with a grain of salt since they’re likely unfamiliar with your field or the priorities of hiring managers. Nevertheless, their feedback can provide valuable insights.
Your LinkedIn profile can be the door to new opportunities, and the information you share (or don’t share) can be the difference between a closed and an open door. If the door’s open, you’ll want to slip your resume through it, and you’ll need a strong, professional one that increases your chances of getting through that door. To ensure that you make it to the other side, reach out to our resume-writing experts.