At a recruiting agency, we spend entire days on LinkedIn scanning people's digital resumes. And honestly, I should probably write an entire other blog post about the most terrible LinkedIns I have seen (it can be traumatic!). But instead, I'm am going to give you a simple LinkedIn makeover formula that will take less than 10 minutes. If you need help or even if you think your LinkedIn is flawless, take a look and let me know if you have any additions!
1. The Photo
Your professional headshot is just that... a professional headshot. I'm not saying you need to go pay $1k to get photos taken. I am saying that your photo should be a clear, simple image of your face. That's it.
|Simple or solid color background||Blurry|
Examples from our team:
2. Your Heading Line
I wrote "Marketing Manager at Will Reed." Short and sweet. You don't need some catchy phrase or a bunch of symbols. The simpler and cleaner the better. And do your best to use the industry term for your position. If your company calls your role something spunky, that is so fun. But if you are wanting your LinkedIn to be comprehensible to those who are not as your company as well, put the corresponding job title. (Hint: If you need help figuring out what that is, check out job postings on job sites to see what they are calling roles like yours!)
|Use industry wide job title.||Use symbols or bizarre phrases - keep it simple.|
|Include current company name.||Leave it empty.|
|If unemployed, put previous job title and no company name.||Put "looking or seeking" if unemployed. You'll never come up in a recruiter's search.|
3. Your Experience
This is the most important area of your LinkedIn, so listen up. I am going to break this down into high points that you can just check off a list.
- Make sure all your "experiences" (jobs) are linked to the company so that the logo appears on the side. If the company does not exist anymore, put whatever company acquired it and then add "(Formerly XYZ)".
- Beneath each company, write 3ish sentences describing your day to day and what your role consisted of. Then below those put 3 to 5 bullets of key contributions. Focus only on highest achievements. (Hint: If you can quantify these, that will go a long way. Whether that is revenue generate, quota attainments, or awards, etc.)
- Save space for the most relevant experiences. If you started in one industry, then switched to your current industry - minimize the real estate dedicated to less relevant experiences.
- Consolidate experience sections by company. If you put "Will Reed Jobs" on there 14 times, because you had 14 different roles, suddenly it takes 2.5 minutes to scroll through your Linkedin. You just lost the viewer's attention. You can add what roles you held / when you were promoted in the description / bullets below.
- If the company is unknown, have one sentence describing the company and then your bullets underneath.
- If you jumped around or had short stints, explain why to get ahead of anyone labeling you a "job hopper." For example, “6-month project” or “Acquired by X” or “Company closed, but leadership team hired me at the next opportunity”. (Note: If a company got acquired or folded into another company, put it all under one logo so that it is clear you didn’t jump around.)
4. Your Summary I am going to leave this one up to your discernment. What I will say is that this is a great way to neatly and professionally show your personality some, as well improve your SEO (search engine optimization) so that you come up in more searches.
- 7 Linkedin Profile Summaries That We Love - Kate Reilly
- 5 Templates That'll Make Writing the Perfect Linkedin Summary a Breeze - Aja Frost
5. Your Organizations and Education Sections
Always list your college + degree on your profile. Here is also a good place to include activities and societies.
- If your GPA is worth show casing, you may include that as well.
- Make sure your college's logo appears.
- Include what your degree was in.
- If you were an athlete in college, be sure to include that! That's impressive. (Good for you!)
- If you paid your way through school by working part-time or full time or by scholarship, include that in the description. (Example: Education 100% funded through XYZ scholarship.)
- Make sure your education only appears once. Often times, I see people have it included multiple times on their profile - one with the logo, one without.
6. Bonus Material
- Volunteer work. That always gives you some good will! (But be honest!)
- Contact information. If you don't want to put your contact info on your profile, then don't. Another suggestion would be to make a separate email account for your Linkedin inquiries to have emails sent to and list the address here.
- Skill & Endorsements. To be honest, these are not 100% trusted due to random arbitrary inflation from strangers. However, these do help your name appear in recruiter's + hiring manager's boolean searches. So maybe make sure you have the correct skills listed (Example: If you are sales person you might list: cold calling, prospecting, Salesforce, etc.)
- Groups. These can be great! For networking, but also being recruited. Go find some relevant groups to your company, job, industry, or alma mater - and join away!
- Following. Just like the groups, these can show you to be involved and informed. Go follow relevant companies that relate to your current role + interests.
- Open to New Opportunities Feature. If you are actively looking or even just interested to see what is out there, turn on this feature and it will show recruiters what you are looking for. Also this allows you to personalize what you are looking for to be sure only relevant opportunities are brought to their attention.
- Super simple + easy to read quickly.
- Be ALL IN at your current company. This is important for the company doing the hiring.
Even if you are not looking for a job, you should do this. Why? It's your marketing page. You are the only one who can control it. And as much as I don't want to admit it, in today's day in age (especially in the tech sales) your LinkedIn says a lot about you. Technically you do not have to brush your hair every morning to do your job, but it gives you clout and makes you look good. Same goes for LinkedIn.
And if you are actively looking... spend a few minutes fixing your LinkedIn, and you won't have to search for your perfect job. Recruiters will flock to you. I know, because well, I am one.
And if you're thinking... "Yeah, well, they are already flocking to me, and it's annoying." Then there is another reason to fix up your LinkedIn. Make it clear what you're doing and weed out the recruiters that are trying to hire you as a entry level sales rep when you're currently making six figures and wining and dining.
All around, it is worth it.
If you are interested in why something as petty as updating your LinkedIn could help you find your next job, stay tuned. My next post will be about what it looks like from a recruiter or hiring managers perspective. And the thoughts that run through our minds as we run through your LinkedIn profile.
You only have 10 seconds to grab their attention, even if you are not looking to make a move... everyone wants to be desired, right?