Having a well-crafted LinkedIn profile is crucial and has essentially become the modern-day business card. It’s useful because if you’re looking for a job, recruiters and employers can find you. It can also help sales professionals with prospecting and networking. Let’s dive into the importance of your LinkedIn profile and things you should consider when completing your profile.
Consistency is very important when it comes to the content in your LinkedIn profile. You want to make certain that everything aligns with you personally and professionally. If you’re searching for a job your LinkedIn profile and resume should be consistent in content. Keep in mind, that recruiters, employers, and clients check your social media platforms so any inconsistencies found through those pages may also raise questions regarding the legitimacy of the content you put out. Here are some tips to consider:
- Ensure your LinkedIn profile picture is professional and not too personal. It’s best to avoid using pictures with your family, pets, or friends. The goal is to have the picture reflect you and your current role.
- Display your interest in the field you’re in by following and joining groups that you feel are applicable to yourself. Companies and groups you follow will tell others how serious you are about the industry you’re in and your interests. For example, if you work in the advertising industry, try following relative companies and groups.
- Cross-check the dates, titles, and descriptions on your LinkedIn and resume to make sure they match. If job searching recruiters and employers always keep an eye out for this!
- Attention to Detail
Attention to detail here means you have carefully thought out every aspect of your LinkedIn profile. This applies to the completion of all areas of your profile, spelling, grammar throughout, privacy settings, and detail within the content you have provided. Here are some examples:
- Create a concise, professional, and persuasive biography of who you are. This will act as your pitch to selling yourself, so you want to spend some time perfecting it.
- If you’ve already been in the workforce for some time, it does not hurt to include your full work history with the exception of part-time jobs. Start off by listing what the company does, your role in the company, and successes you’ve had in the company. For those who are just entering the workforce, include part-time jobs and specify they were during school or in accordance with finding a full-time role.
- Always include your education graduating year, the school, and degree if post-secondary. Where you went to school is a great way to connect if the person looking at your profile also attended the same school.
- Display and background pictures are often overlooked but that is where you share your personality or workplace through imagery.
- Make sure privacy settings are set up correctly as sometimes your images/information will not show up to those that are not first-degree connections.
- Networking & Connections
LinkedIn is a hub for connecting with clients, other professionals, recruiters, and employers. Your network of people on LinkedIn will indicate how well-connected you are as a sales professional. For example, some employers are hesitant on hiring salespeople with fewer than 500 connections as it shows you do not leverage social media to prospect or connect with other professionals. If you use LinkedIn for prospecting, you are only able to see individuals within three degrees of your connections. In other words, if you are connected with John Doe then he is in your first-degree network and anyone you are not connected to in John Doe’s list of connections will be in your second-degree network. Your third-degree network includes individuals that have connections within your second-degree network. Thus, your goal should always be to expand your network to increase your chances of prospecting for new business or being discovered by recruiters, employers, and potential clients.
It is useful to make public your contact info such as your phone number and email so when you do connect with someone, they can view this information and get in touch with you outside your LinkedIn inbox.
Lastly, your network enables you to receive recommendations and endorsements which will act as testimonials for yourself. Do not shy away from asking your close connections to provide you with this wherever applicable whether it’s for a skill or an accomplishment. The more recommendation you receive from peers, direct reports, employers, and clients, the higher your credibility that you are well-regarded in your field.
The key takeaway here is to really ensure your profile is a reflection of you and your career. The more transparent you are, the better it is in terms of how well people interpret who you are. Try to make your profile as thoughtful as possible so you have a better chance of getting a job, networking, or prospecting successfully. Think of your LinkedIn profile as your virtual resume or virtual business card and use it to your advantage!
Author: Bryan Payne is the Chief Talent Scout and Founding Partner at Just Sales Jobs with over 25-years of experience in sales and leading high-performance sales teams. Bryan and his team specialize in recruiting top talent within the Greater Toronto Area to Kitchener Waterloo. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org