Tag Archives: Profile

6 LinkedIn profile rules to ignore in 2018

There are numerous articles on how to properly write your LinkedIn profile. With all the advice that is floating out there, it’s no wonder that LinkedIn members might be confused.

Dennis Background

I am guilty of writing some of these articles, so I would like to provide relief for the confused people trying to write their LinkedIn profile for the first time, or revise the one they already have. What follows are some rules you can ignore for six important areas of your profile.

1. Your background image must reflect what you do

I’m sure some people are freaking out because they don’t have a background image that illustrates what they do, such as a medical lab for a tech, a row of million dollar houses for a realtor, etc. I get it. You want your background image to reflect what you do.

Don’t worry. People who visit your profile also want to know what motivates you, describes your personality, shows what you love. Take the image below that shows one of my clients enjoying the view of a mountain range she was hiking. And the image above which is…just colorful.

laura-background-image

2. Dress to the Nines for Your LinkedIn Photo

I’ve said it myself and regret it. “Your photo should be professional.” So what is the definition of professional? Over the years the idea of a professional photo has changed, and so has my opinion.

Anton

Maybe you men were told that you had to dress in a three-piece suit, and you women were told you had to wear a dress suit with a white blouse. In addition, you were told you had to have a blank, boring background.

I used to advise my clients to do exactly this.

Now your photo can be more casual. Or you might prefer a theme-based photo that describes what you do, such as the one on the right. Can you guess what he does?

3. Your Headline Must Only List Your Professional Title and Employer

Whether you decide to go with a keyword-rich or branding statement Headline is your choice. Please don’t leave it as “Project Manager at IBM.” This doesn’t say anything about your value; it simply tells viewers what you do and where you work.

Instead, be creative and add areas of expertise that show your value, as well as contain keywords employers are looking for in, say, a project manager. For example:

Project Manager, ABC Company ~ Business Development | Lean Six Sigma | Projects On-Time, Under Budget

4. Make Your Summary Short

There are those who believe your LinkedIn profile Summary should be short because it will make it easier for recruiters to read. While I agree this applies to your resume, it doesn’t apply to your profile. Here’s why:

1) Don’t expect your visitors to read your whole Summary. They will be attracted to certain areas of expertise (written in all CAPs) and read that content.

2) With a short Summary you rob yourself of including keywords that help hiring authorities find you.

3) This is where you tell your story, so don’t leave out important details.

Here is an excerpt of what I consider to be a strong Summary, which uses all but 44 characters out of the 2,000 allotted. Visitors might read some of it, or they might read all of it.


Advanced materials and processes can form the basis for a product portfolio that will generate repeat revenues for years to come – if a company is able to leverage those innovations. I have been fortunate to participate in several technology firms where I’ve led teams that did exactly that. Here are a few keys to our success:

► BUILDING TALENTED TEAMS – of professionals who are leaders in their respective areas. Then, encouraging and rewarding them for their collective success.

► ENGINEERING CREATIVE SOLUTIONS – that solve the customer’s problem, but also create manufacturing differentiators that will lead to follow-on production.

Here’s what I offer:

► PROVEN TRACK RECORD – At growing engineering R&D firms into repeat manufacturing businesses with broad portfolios of products (including MSI, which was recently acquired for its manufacturing operations and product pipeline).

5. Only List Your Company and Job Title

Who says you have to stick to the “official title” of where you work or worked? I haven’t been told I need to list my official title of Workshop Facilitator first. (Not yet, at least.) My current title is:

Career Strategist ~ LinkedIn Trainer | Workshop Facilitator | LinkedIn Profile & Resume Consultant.

Another consideration is that your title might not make sense to people reading your profile. One of my client’s title was “Director of Innovation.” When I asked him what his title meant, he told me he was a Project Manager.

6. Don’t Personalize Your Experience Content

This is a tough one to comprehend. I see many profiles that are meager at best when it comes to their Experience section. People have been told, “Don’t regurgitate your resume.” Yes, don’t regurgitate your resume, but do include the meat of what you do/did where you work/ed.

I suggest beginning with a job summary that acts as a mission statement. For example:

When the power’s out and you can’t see two feet in front of you, your television isn’t working, the Internet is down; I’m the one who gets your power up and running. I love the feeling of fixing a generator that powers hundreds of houses. This is what makes being a Power Line Tech so rewarding.

From there you personalize your accomplish statements, as well.

► I’m often called upon to climb the highest towers during inclement weather, when others won’t. I thrive on this.

► On average, I repair damage generators faster than most Power Line Techs. My Supervisor has named me “The Magician.”


These are six important areas on you LinkedIn profile where the rules you’ve learned can be ignored. Don’t treat your profile like your resume; they are special in their own ways. Have fun constructing your profile.

 

Advertisements

6 Areas on your LinkedIn profile you should optimize in 2018

If you’re wondering how an optimized LinkedIn profile will help you in your job search, the answer is simple: Your profile needs to be found by hiring authorities (recruiters, hiring managers, and human resources reps). These people can’t find your profile unless you utilize search engine optimization.

linkedin-alone

Hiring authorities approach LinkedIn similarly to the way they approach their applicant tracking systems (ATSs). They search the site for certain keywords denoting titles and areas of expertise. To be found, you must show up in the first 4-6 pages of search results, lest you be overlooked.

Let’s consider the following scenario: A hiring authority is searching for a finance manager with expertise in data analysis; advising senior managers on how to maximize profits; business analysis; forecasting; supervising employees responsible for financial reporting; and legal compliance. A Masters of Business Administration (MBA) is preferred, although not required.

If a given finance manager wants to be found by the hiring authority in this scenario, their LinkedIn profile must contain their title and area of expertise. Furthermore, this information must be listed in all areas of the finance manager’s profile in order to maximize their chance of being found. This information can be worked into the finance manager’s profile through the use of keywords.

Areas on Your Profile Where Keywords Count

1. Your Name

This area is valuable real estate, as it is weighed heavily in searches. Any certifications or degrees you hold should be included alongside your name, as they will indicate your experience and expertise. So, our finance manager would list their education, “MBA,” after their name.

2. The Headline

This area should be rich with keywords, and it should brand you for your occupation and industry.

Using our financial manager as an example, their headline would read as:

Finance Manager ~ Data Analysis | Business Analysis | Forecasting | Legal Compliance | Maximizing Profits | MBA

Note that you only have 120 characters – including spaces – to work with in your headline. The above example uses 113 characters.

3. The Summary

Your summary should not be brief. Writing a brief summary prevents you from including all the important keywords we’ve identified. In the case of our finance manager, they would want to repeat “finance manager” and the areas of expertise mentioned in the headline above as often as possible.

Note that you have 2,000 characters with which to work in your summary. Something to keep in mind is that visitors only see the first two lines of your summary, unless they select “See more. Read: The 39 most important in your LinkedIn profile summary

4. Experience

The experience section is often overlooked, which is a huge mistake. Each entry in the experience section contains two factors that need to be considered: the job title and the position description.

Our finance manager’s official title is “finance manager” at ABC Company. While this is an accurate title, it doesn’t show their full value. The finance manager should instead list a title similar to their headline. However, you only have 100 characters here, so you have to be more selective. Our finance manager’s title might read:

Finance Manager ~ Data Analysis | Business Analysis | Forecasting | Legal Compliance | MBA

Here, the phrase, “maximizing profits” was removed. “MBA” could be removed instead, but the designation is more important for our finance manager’s purposes.

While the position description must above all else show the candidate’s value by listing accomplishment statements with quantified results, it is also an area on your LinkedIn profile where you can utilize a great deal of space. You have 2,000 characters here to repeat your title and areas of expertise. Don’t squander them.

5. Education / other sections

The education and other sections are also in play. What many people fail to realize is that they can add narratives to their education section. Yes, you’ll list your institution of learning and location (no dates of graduation), but you can also provide some background information.

Our finance manager might tell a story like this: “I fell in love with accounting and other areas of finance on my way to earning my MBA. Of particular interest to me were data and business analysis. I was given the opportunity to learn these skills during an internship at ABC company, which is where I am now employed.” Notice how this narrative employs the right keywords!

You can also benefit from keywords in the featured skills and endorsements sections. Your skills are counted, and some say the number of times you’re endorsed for them increases your ability to be found.

Other considerations when optimizing your LinkedIn profile

Loading your profile with keywords isn’t going to be enough on its own. Being found by hiring authorities also depends on how many people you’re connected with, as well as who your connections are. In addition, engaging with your connections will increase your chances of being found.

Outside your LinkedIn profile

Highlighting your LinkedIn profile on business cards, resumes, links from other social media can further optimize your profile.


Next week, we’ll explore LinkedIn profile optimization further by looking at how to properly connect with other LinkedIn members.

This post originally appeared on recruiter.com.

If you want to learn more about LinkedIn, visit this compilation of LinkedIn posts.

7 easy ways to learn about your LinkedIn connections’ updates

I’ve written numerous times about the importance of sharing an update as a way to communicate with your connections. My LinkedIn workshop attendees will tell you I mention it a bazillion times during the workshop, and they question my suggestion that they update at least once a day.

One of the things I love about LinkedIn is the ability to learn about the connections in my community. By going to my homepage every morning and numerous times during the day, I can see with whom they’re connecting, articles they’re sharing, groups they’ve joined, jobs they’ve landed, and more. This can be time-consuming, so I narrow my search by type (see list below).

If you’re interested, like me, in focusing on certain types of updates, here’s how to do it. Click on “All Updates” just below the “Share an update” box. A drop-down menu will appear giving you many options for various types of updates to look at. For instance, if you’d like to know what changes are made to your connections’ profiles, simply choose “Profiles.” Let’s look at the various types of updates.

  1. HomepageAll Updates. This is the default update setting but preferred by those who like variety…or don’t know about the “All Update” feature. Below are more specific update types.
  2. Shares. If it’s blog posts/photos/videos and more you’re interested in, select this type of update to discover what your connections have been sharing.
  3. Connections. Important for those of you who are interested in who your connections are connecting with. I find this useful if I recognize a second degree with whom I’d like to connect. Now I can get an introduction to my connection’s new contact.
  4. Groups. Who in your network has joined a group? Who’s started or contributed to a discussion? Because groups are so huge, you should stay on top of what your connections are doing in their groups.
  5. Profiles. Your connections might have landed a new job, made updates to their skills and specialties, recommended someone, posted a new photo (big these days), or celebrated a birthday. By they way, you can hide this activity and changes to your profile by going to Privacy & Settings > Turn on/off broadcast activity.
  6. News. This brings me to the channels I’m following and the comments people have made, whether they’re first or third degree connections. Oh, there’s an interesting article on emotional intelligence. I’ll be back, I’m going to read it.
  7. Companies. Curious about which companies your connections are following? This could be good fodder for discussion. “So, what’s the interest in BAE?” This is another activity you can hide if you don’t want certain connections (your boss) to know.

Your Updates. This type of update is not about your connections, but it is one of my favorite features under All Updates, as I’m very forgetful. This allows me to see if or when I’ve shared a post of mine or some of my connections’. Perhaps I’ve made a statement of advice, or listed a quote. I would like to know this lest I share an identical post.

Hidden. This is a category I hope I don’t end up in, but let’s be realistic. With all the updating I do a day, I’m sure plenty of people have hidden me from their homepage. No worries. LinkedIn is kind enough to not notify you if you’ve been hidden. And you can ask yourself, “Is it better to be hidden or removed?”

My final comment on updates is the ability to customize what you want to see when you’re perusing your homepage or using the “All Updates” feature. Perhaps I’m not all that interested in what companies people are following. I can simply eliminate that update type from the list.