Tag Archives: photo

When your LinkedIn profile says practically nothing; 8 key areas

I recently read an article by Laura Smith-Proulx, Quick Fixes to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile, that addresses the “Minimal-Effort Profile.” She writes, “Here it is—your name, college education, and current job. Wait – where’s the rest?”

While Laura points out the profiles that show little effort on the user’s part, I’m going to talk about the profile that contains practically nothing. You wouldn’t think it possible, but I’ve seen and immediately abandoned such profiles. I bet I’m not the first either.

Has no photo. This makes me wonder, “Are you faceless?” Can’t you see how a photo can make you easily recognizable and say more than thousand words about you? When I see a photo, I see possibilities–a person who’s a manager, a caring therapist, an established resume writer, a CEO, an aspiring actor.

Lacks a branding, keyword-rich title. Laura nicely states it this way: “This is where you make your opening statement. The key in altering your Headline is to use terms that will trigger your hit rate for both your job target and current position (and potentially your industry).” I say, “No branding title, time to move on.”

Is devoid of a story-telling Summary. Can you believe I’ve seen summaries that…don’t exist? Not even a heading. Why? Because the person hasn’t gotten around to writing one? Here’s where you get to explain your professional experience, state your aspirations, tout your accomplishments. Write in first person if it suits you. Explain why you’re looking for a new career and how your transferable skills make this possible.

Contains no descriptive Experience section. Essentially it says the person has done nothing, accomplished zilch. It says, “I worked as a Graphic Designer at ABC company from 1996 to 2012, and this is all I want to share.” This is where you can dump the content of your résumé or highlight four or five accomplishments. I prefer the latter. How far do you go back? My opinion is stay consistent with your résumé–10-15 years.

Has nothing in the Education section. If you went to college or just high school, you must list it. Not only that, list the activities and societies to which you belonged. In Additional Notes list the most relevant courses and internships in which you partook. You interned at the New York Times? My god, boy, that needs to be said.

Doesn’t make use of Applications: A great way to brand yourself. Do you blog? Show your expertise and writing abilities by starting a blog. WordPress is free (this is not a plug) and there are others. Excellent work to show, like a PowerPoint presentation on the 10 Must-Haves to Be a CEO. This can be placed in Box.net Files. These are just a few.

No Skills section. This is a fairly new LinkedIn feature that requires at least three skills on your way to 100% completion. It is essentially replacing the Specialties feature. Show visitors, including employers, the skills you demonstrate, as well as increase your SEO potential. Check out the bells and whistles this feature provides. People with whom you should connect and projected growth of a skill are just a couple.

Haven’t requested and written recommendations. The last section I’ll address is recommendations, which do a tremendous job of telling visitors who you are through the eyes of your former supervisors, colleagues, vendors, partners, etc. Ask for and write at least five or six recommendations. A profile without recommendations tells employers 1) you haven’t taken the effort to request them and 2) no one will write one for you.

It’s frustrating for me when I see a profile that is bare and demonstrates no effort. My reaction is to move on. And if I’m sent an invite from someone whose profile contains practically nothing, I click “Ignore.” I don’t think I’m superior–I really don’t–but I see a bare profile similar to meeting someone at a networking event who doesn’t talk. Says nothing….

Don’t neglect these components of your LinkedIn profile; the Photo and Title

Jobseekers and professional should know by now how much a powerful LinkedIn profile can impact their job search, as well as how a poor profile can be detrimental to their online networking success.

According to Jobvite, approximately 89% of recruiters/employers use LinkedIn to cull talent on LinkedIn, so it doesn’t take a genius to know that your online footprint can make the difference between being hired quickly and languishing in limbo. Those who don’t get a second look are jobseekers that ignore the importance of every component of their profile.

So what components of your LinkedIn profile should you focus on most to avoid the disapproval of recruiters and employers? This is a trick question for eager jobseekers. All of them! Rule number one: every single piece of your LinkedIn profile is important, from your photo to the Personal Information section. This series will look at the components of your LinkedIn profile that make it a winner, not one that drives visitors away.

Component #1, your photo matters for two reasons. First, it is part of your personal branding. Visitors will recognize you and feel comfortable opening your profile. Every time you post in update, your attractive mug will appear on your first degree contacts’ home page. If you’re worried about age discrimination, let go of your reluctance.

Second, the alternative is displaying a default, ugly light grey box. This is a turn-off, and I personally don’t open profiles without a photo. Because the majority of today’s profiles sport a photo, recruiters are suspicious of profiles that don’t have a photo.

What should your photo convey? Your photo must look professional. You’re not posing for friends at a family picnic, standing with your wife and three-year-old daughter, hiking in the mountains, raising a pint in an Irish pub; nor should it be an animation or caricature. These are signs of immaturity and unprofessionalism.

Most experts agree that your photo should be a tight shot of your face and upper shoulders. Please don’t use a photo that misrepresents you; such as a high school or college photo, while in fact you’re in your forties or fifties. This will only cause you embarrassment and further suspicion.

Component #2, your title needs to describe you effectively in 128 characters or less. Don’t worry, that’s plenty of space for you to tell your story. It can neither be too brief and general nor lengthy and contrived. It must accurately describe the value you’ll provide to an employer by explaining who you are, where you sit in the labor market, and the return on investment you’ll bring to companies looking for outstanding skills and accomplishments.

Poor title: Financial Analyst

Better Title: Financial Analysis | Predictive Modeling | Internal Consulting | Millions Strategy | Millions in Cost Savings | Bottom-Line Results

You’ve also been told that keywords are important to being found by recruiters and employers. Your title, therefore, must be rich with keywords. Carefully scan the job descriptions you run across and note the keywords and key phrases employers use. Your photo and title are the first components of your profile employers will see.

If you are curious as to what a powerful title looks like, type in the Search field financial analyst, business development, certified project management, marketing manager, or any occupation that fits your interests. Chose the ones that you’d like to emulate, and the ones that contain the keywords which match the jobs you’re pursuing. You’ll get a good sense of how you should structure yours by doing this.

We’ve looked at just two components of your profile. One hundred and twenty million people are on LinkedIn; more than one-third are jobseekers. With this kind of competition, you can’t afford to present a poor image in just two components of your profile. Next we’ll look at the summary section of your LinkedIn profile.