Most professional job seekers are savvy enough to know that over 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn to source for top talent. And most hiring managers complete their due diligence by Googling job candidates to research additional information. So no problem, right, because you have a profile and it mirrors your resume. Well, not so fast. Just HAVING a LinkedIn profile isn’t enough; it has to be optimized, have the keywords that the recruiter is searching for, showcase your achievements prominently and much more.
Unfortunately, most LinkedIn profiles do not pass the test and, as a result, actually turn off a recruiter or hiring manager and COST otherwise qualified candidates a job interview and job offer.
That is exactly why I quit my Fortune 200 company corporate HR and Talent Management position and started a career coaching practice; I talked to too many professionals who did not communicate their value in an effective, much less a compelling way, on their resumes, networking pitches, or in the interview. They may well have been more qualified than the final candidate, who ultimately was hired, but they just did not market them effectively and strategically.
WHAT A COSTLY MISTAKE! You can benefit from others’ mistakes by reviewing these very common LinkedIn profile blunders and ensuring that you address your profile:
- Don’t rely on LinkedIn for a Memorable Headline.Unless you customize your own headline (the tagline directly under your name) your current job title will be listed by default. This area, to the right of your photo is “prime career real estate” and similar to a newspaper headline or billboard message.
- To prove my point, search others who have your job title. Imagine yourself as a recruiter searching for a CFO (Chief Financial Officer). I recently found 388,033 who simply had their job title as their headline. Pretty boring, huh? No wonder recruiters consume lots of coffee in any given day.
- What do you want to say to potential employers? Consider stating your strengths, talents, achievements or what you are known for. If changing careers, list the role you are pursuing. Make it memorable to encourage your reader to continue reading your entire profile.
- Consider SEO. You don’t have to be a marketing whiz to understand that recruiters are sourcing by keywords. What keywords would be searched to discover you?
- Way too many adjectives. Employers want to know what you have accomplished and are asking themselves “what could this job candidate do for my organization?” while they are skimming your profile. Replace those say-nothing, tired and overused adjectives with your key results and achievements.
- Add metrics to back them up. When I was a corporate HR Director, my headline was: “Ask me how I reduced employee turnover by 21% in six months.” Pretty impressive, huh? What have you increased, decreased or improved that you can showcase with stats such as revenue increased, money made or saved?
- “You lost me after the second paragraph.” Most profiles’ narratives are too long. You need to write for the reader and all of us have a shorter attention span now than we did five years ago. The answer: use bullet point and just a few sentences and very short paragraphs. Take a lesson from most websites.
I love to help professionals and executives showcase their value and strengths in a compelling way and LinkedIn is the best resource to do just that. It is your professional website. Entrepreneurs – I can also help you market your business through LinkedIn. Contact me at Patricia@CareerWisdomCoach.com for a free consult.