In case you didn’t know, LinkedIn has over 500 million global users with roughly 138 million of them being in the United States alone. Over the last few years, LinkedIn has continued to sophisticate their platform, working on their talent search features and InMail capabilities to make finding and connecting with people easier. With the number and variety of professionals in one place and the ability to make connections, it is no surprise that LinkedIn is the number one place for businesses and recruiters to seek out top talent.
As someone that frequently dives into the depths of talent searches in LinkedIn, I can’t tell you how frustrating it is when I see young professionals with vague profiles. I believe your LinkedIn page should be a showcase for your personal brand that tells the professional world: this is what I have done, and this is why I am awesome. However, more often than not, what I find is a list of previous job titles and their corresponding dates.
That isn’t much to go on for anyone trying to determine if you have the knowledge, skills, and abilities sought out by a recruiter. Your chance at your dream job could have just skimmed your vague profile and moved on to the next person.
Below are three simple ways to step up your LinkedIn profile and why they are important.
Go Beyond the Title
A lot of job titles today, especially in the digital world, are completely ambiguous. From industry to industry and even company to company, the same job title could hold an entirely different meaning as to what you do.
For example, we are currently looking for an SEO Manager, which to us means they will be managing a team of SEO Analysts. I could look at people from five different companies with that same title and each person will have totally different sets of responsibilities. One person will be equivalent to our entry-level analyst while another will be a copywriter. If you change the title to SEO Director, it could be anything from an analyst level to a VP of digital strategy.
With such ambiguity as to what a title actually means, you need to go beyond your title and spell out what you actually do. By adding more details, you show the professional world your brand of expertise and could open yourself up to new opportunities you didn’t know were out there. Even if you don’t want to make a change right now, you will be more likely to make new connections that could help out down the line when you do want to try something new.
Showcase What You’re Proud Of
LinkedIn can be so much more than a digital copy of your resume; this is where you have the space to brag about yourself or showcase your accomplishments. Besides just having extra room to write a bio or go into details about past positions, you can also highlight various forms of media that you want to draw attention to.
On my personal profile, I use the media linking feature in two different areas of my page to showcase posts that make me proud. The first is in my bio, where I link to blog posts where my advice and thoughts on HR have been featured. The second is under each position I have held in my company, I link to blog posts I wrote on a variety of subjects.
Give Recommendations to Get Recommendations
From what I have seen looking at hundreds of profiles on LinkedIn, one of the most underutilized features is the “Recommendations” section. This section allows people to write personal recommendations and feedback on another individual’s page. Whenever I look at someone’s page, I always look to see if they have any recommendations, and if they have received feedback, I make note of it.
To be clear, I never knock someone for not having any recommendations; I don’t have any on my profile, and I take what is said with a grain of salt. However, the information in this section can provide some outside perspective about you as a professional that could highlight to others what makes you a strong candidate. As I see it, the two best ways to get recommendations are to give sincere and thoughtful recommendations about others and to simply ask.
Just remember, your LinkedIn profile is a representation of your professional self, so make sure you are putting your best self out there. Even if you aren’t looking for your next career step right at this moment, you should start building your professional brand and connections now because you never know where it will get you in the future.
Do you have additional thoughts or recommendations for LinkedIn profiles? Tweet us at @workshopmktg or comment below!