LinkedIn is a Flashing Digital Billboard Not an Online Resume
I consider LinkedIn to be a Flashing Digital Billboard that I change every Sunday at 3:30. I call this changing my oil.
A resume is an historical document highlighting past jobs, achievements, education, and community involvement.
As a futurist and strategist, career coach and LinkedIn specialist, I teach my clients how to leverage LI to get what they want going forward, not to get what they have always had.
Having written over 7,000 successful LinkedIn profiles for job search and business development clients, here are my tips for making a LinkedIn profile Look Great and Be Found for success, differently from a resume:
1) Know Your Goals – the first and most important tip is to understand the purpose of your LinkedIn profile and the goals for being on this tool. My clients must complete my workbook with many questions that help them discern their goals. Here are seven important questions:
2) Look Great – In Europe, the Vita / resume includes a photo, in the USA a resume does not include a photo. On LinkedIn, a photograph is important as this is a social media tool and people want to know that the profile owner is real, authentic, and genuine. Be sure to get a professional head shot for your LinkedIn profile. (I do not even click on profiles without photos).
ANNE’S EXPERT TIP: Do not use a selfie for the LinkedIn profile.
3) Know Your Branding – Take time to unearth and understand your brand and communicate that in the Professional Headline area on LinkedIn, under your name. This area allows for 120 characters – start with the title that you desire, your brand statement and the industries that you desire. This area is high in search engine optimization.
Headline Example: Technical Project Manager that Every Engineer Loves to Work With in Electric or Industrial Manufacturing. This headline got my client found for a great job within four weeks.
ANNE’S EXPERT TIP: I change my headline based on what I desire, adding and removing keywords, titles, and industries that I am targeting. My branding remains consistent but the keywords may change based on the jobs or industries that I am targeting – i.e. LinkedIn Trainer, Sales Coach | Attorneys Look Great, Be Found, Get Know and Make Meaningful Business Connections. By adding the word ‘Attorneys’ I got two new law firm clients, as the found me on LinkedIn.
4) Be Aspirational – In your Summary area, which has a 2000 character limit, make sure that there are at least 50 keywords. If you are seeking a job and are unemployed start the first two lines (50 characters) with the job title that you are seeking and your contact information. This way recruiters can easily reach out to you. In the Summary let people know what you desire, what your goals are and what you have accomplished. Here are few samples of successful Summary samples that I share, from the Forbes article by William Arruda.
ANNE’S EXPERT TIP: if you are employed, DO NOT say that you are desperately seeking new opportunities.
5) Summarize Achievements in the Experience Section – Do not just copy and paste your resume into the Experience area. I coach my clients to create their accomplishments and rank them based on what they want to do in the future.
Next, study job descriptions that you are targeting and make certain to plant those keywords or requirements from those job descriptions in the Experience Description area.
I coach clients to use my ‘frosting and cupcake’ formatting. That means to create a headline for key accomplishment that quickly tells the story with keywords. This is important because when you apply for a job through LinkedIn or download your LinkedIn profile into an online resume format then the formatting is very easy to read and the keywords stand out. Example:
CREATED STRATEGY TO LAUNCH NEW REVENUE STREAMS
- Created $25 million dollar business – launched the in-store experience, procedures, tools and measurements for the initial launch of in-store gaming software trade-in.
- Developed the sales plan, trainings and tools that supported entry into selling eReaders in-store and online which is now a $60 million business.
ANNE’S EXPERT TIP: Never use the words ‘Responsible for’ in the Experience section. Recruiters want to know what you have achieved and not what the responsibilities were. Always put past job accomplishments in past tense.
6) Highlight Successes – There are many new areas on LinkedIn where you can display your experience. Begin adding the Volunteer, Honors and Awards, Publications, Organizations, Certifications, Courses and other sections to the profile.
ANNE’S EXPERT TIP: Each Sunday when I change my oil, I add a new keyword to the Interest area on LinkedIn. This area is high in search engine optimization and I use it as my ‘secret sauce’ to help get picked up in searches. I have hundreds of client success stories about clients who added a new keyword and were quickly found for a great job.
7) Show Your Stuff – In the new media-rich formatting area in the LinkedIn Summary, Experience and Education sections, you can add links, videos, PPT, PDFs or photos. If you do not have any of these, then create some visuals.
Visit www.linkedin.com/in/annepryor to view many media-rich format suggestions. With one client, we created a PPT slide showing how he has been successful in creating business analytics. This visual got him noticed by a potential employer.
ANNE’S EXPERT TIP: You can also create visual resumes to put in this area using tools such as www.branded.me, www.resume.linkedinlabs.com, or by creating a resume on your Pinterest and adding that account (see www.pinterest.com/annepryor).
8) Flaunt Your Skills – The Skills and Endorsements area is important on LinkedIn. Add up to 50 skills and make certain that the top 10 skills get the most endorsements and that they are in the top 10 slots. Get at least 12 Endorsements. Give to receive! You can move these around now by clicking ‘Manage skills’ and then clicking on the skill and dragging it to a new position.
ANNE’S EXPERT TIP: Every Sunday I remove skills that I no longer want to show and add a new skill that I have found on other expert’s profiles or that are in job descriptions. If I do not have that skill, I visit www.lynda.com (LinkedIn owns this company) and take a tutorial about that skill and I add that word to my Interest area.
9) Recommend Others First – Give recommendations to former bosses, co-workers, staff, and vendors. Give three recommendations per week and watch how many you receive back. Recommendations are important as recruiters, HR and hiring managers want to understand your character.
ANNE’S EXPERT TIP: Always highlight their brand attributes and accomplishments in the first 6 words of a recommendation. This is all people can see on a LinkedIn profile and it is all they notice.
10) Invite Top Influencers – Once you have your profile Looking Great, invite your top peeps to your network. Get your targeted list of industries (I call them HUBS) then the top 66 people that refer business to you and that you refer business to.
ANNE’S EXPERT TIP: Always add a personal message when inviting people to LinkedIn. My five step process: 1) say where you knew them from 2) give them a complement or a connection point, 3) invite them to connect, 4) ask what you can be on the lookout for them, 5) sign off with your brand statement, name, phone, and twitter handle (LinkedIn does not allow you to add a URL on the Invitation message prior to connecting).
To you success, my friends,
Anne Pryor is a Universal Connector, Recognized as a Top 10 LinkedIn Trainer in the World, Certified Online Brand Specialist, Future Mapper and Co-founder of Meaningful Connections, a national leader in personal branding, online visibility using LinkedIn, and career and new world of work strategies. See her other blog posts at www.linkedin.com/in/annepryor, www.MeaningfulConnections.com or contact her at email@example.com, @annepryor