LinkedIn Profile Optimization: A Crucial Part of Your Job Search Strategy
If you’ve found yourself by choice or necessity in the position of looking for a new job, we want to make sure you’ve got the best career tools in support of your search.
With 33 million Americans suddenly and sadly in the position of looking for a new job, now more than ever, it’s important that you have the best tools and approach to rise to the top of the “Yes” pile for recruiters.
So, what are the “must-haves” for your career palette? A strong master resume and optimized LinkedIn profile are essential for success.
In our post a few weeks back, we provided a host of ways to ensure your resume parses correctly into ATS systems, and, more importantly, that it is appropriately and professionally keyworded to match the specific job to which you are applying. If you haven’t checked out this post and created a Master resume with strong keywords, I encourage you to do this first as it will make your LinkedIn profile optimization work much better. How Resume Keywords Can Help Your Job Search
Today, we’re going to focus on your LinkedIn profile as a compliment to your resume. Your LinkedIn profile is a powerful tool for presenting your unique career story, establishing your personal professional brand in your industry, and allowing you to be quickly found AND contacted by the recruiter or hiring manager.
Image (and imagery) Matter: Headshot and Banner Image
- Headshot: A best practice for an optimized LinkedIn profile is a professional headshot. Even during the pandemic, there are professional photographers who are offering discounted and distanced services to help you make the best first impression. Check out some of these tips for achieving a photo that expresses your unique, professional you.
- Banner Image: Replace the standard “geometric blue” with imagery that is meaningful to you or gives context to your professional expertise.
Grab Attention from the Start: Headline
Instead of listing your current title and company (which are listed below in your Experience section), use more general descriptors of your expertise, discipline focus, something you care about, a career key-skill (i.e. Digital Marketing Expert. Loyalty Marketing. Keynote Speaker).
Tell your Unique Career Story: The “About” Section
Use the “About” section to give a high-level overview of your expertise: clients, industries, leadership philosophy. Share a bit of you—your unique career story. Don’t just copy your professional summary from your resume (although that IS a good place to start), rather take some time to paint a picture of your career arch. Why do you love your work? What are you “known for” amongst your colleagues and clients? Need inspiration for how to craft that story? Read some of LinkedIn’s favorites here… Summaries That We Love
The Body of your Profile: Experience, Education, Volunteering, and Recommendations
- Experience: Use your master resume to update your experience section. Pull data-driven, impact statements from your resume (successful campaigns, programs, projects, teams built/managed). Don’t list all your examples from resume, but some of your best/ favorite examples.
- Education: List your relevant educational experience, with appropriate context (completed degree); Certifications (and dates); and Executive learning programs.
- Volunteering: Use this section to further show what you care about as a complete professional human. Remember people are ultimately viewing your profile and hiring a full person, not robots.
- Recommendations: Ask for recommendations … from past colleagues, clients, and partners and offer them recommendations as well. They add instant credibility and provide a real understanding of what others see as your talents and gifts.
With a focus on building out a complete, keyword rich, and “uniquely you” career story in your LinkedIn profile you are setting yourself for not just being found by a recruiter, but being contacted for a first-round conversation.
Want to increase your job search success further, once you’ve got the basics of your LinkedIn Profile set up? Now it’s time for the MOST important work to begin–building your network and engaging in the platform. Look out for another post soon on this crucial part of your job search!