Viewing 100’s of LinkedIn profiles on a weekly basis I have seen a number of common themes regarding LinkedIn profiles and how best to improve them. Now some of these improvements will make you more approachable/attractive to employers and recruiters. However, you may not want this, but I do hope that some points will be of value.
- Photos! Profiles with no photo looks like you can’t be bothered. This is a professional network and the first thing potential clients or employers see is your profile picture. Heat maps have shown that people spend the most time looking at your photo when reading profiles.
Also, for those of us in the drinks industry – no boozy selfies 🙂
I would also avoid photos with animals (unless zookeeper!) and children/family. These are more akin to Facebook not a professional community.
- Contact details – if you have a blog, website, twitter account, etc. make sure you include these in your contact details. It’s great for promotion. I’ve clicked through to many sites via this section. You can edit the titles as well to entice people to click through e.g. rather than just stating ‘blog’ you could actually change this to the name of your blog or what your subject is. Sell yourself.
- Title/header – one of the most frustrating things I see is when the main profile header stating someone’s job title does not match your current job! You read further down and see that a sales executive is now a trade marketing manager. This just shows a lack of attention to detail as someone has gone to the effort of changing their roles further down in the profile, but not the main headline, which you see first.
- Abbreviations – using abbreviations for job titles is not helpful as not everyone knows what they mean. It also looks lazy and if you are open to job approaches you will be harder to find! For example:
- BDE/CDE – Business/Customer Development Executive
- NAM/SNAM – Senior/National Account Manager
- SBM/BM – Senior/Brand Manager
5. On-trade and off-trade – this is more drinks industry specific, but I would highly recommend that you highlight on your profile whether your experience is in the off-trade (e.g. grocery) or the on-trade (e.g. bars, restaurants). This will ensure that you receive more relevant approaches from employers and come up more regularly in targeted searches. Of course you may want to move from one to the other, but at least be clear what your current role/experience is e.g. National Account Manager – Morrison’s or National Account Manager – Route to Market. We frequently have to source candidates with specific grocery or on-trade experience, but approach many blindly as its really not clear which area they fall into! Avoid getting bombarded with unsuitable job approaches by following this tip. Don’t be vague.
6. Poor grammar/spelling – Please, please make sure your profile is not poorly written or has spelling mistakes. Not much more to say on this, but I see it a lot!
7. Be thorough – whatever industry you work in use the summary section to sell yourself. Don’t just provide a list of jobs, but include narrative and explain more about what you do and your achievements. Just like you would on your CV, but more concise. Showcase yourself by including any volunteering work, awards, presentations etc. For example, stating that you are a marathon runner says a lot about your energy, motivation, personal determination and that you like a challenge! Employers will like this.
8. Keywords – I find that this is an area often overlooked or under used. Adding keywords to your profile means you can be found more easily especially if you work in a niche area or have sought after skills and experience e.g. distillation.
9. Keep it current – this is really obvious, but I strongly recommend you keep your profile up to date. I have seen so many profiles where ‘on maternity’ is still on a profile, but now back in work or ‘travelling’, but you are actually back and looking for a new job! Inmails are prized possessions for employers and recruiters and we tend to avoid these profiles as its likely you are not open to new opportunities. I also know that it can be frustrating to get endless messages from recruiters. If your profile is current then you are less likely to get unsuitable and untimely approaches.
10. Last but not least – email address. A large proportion of those on LinkedIn use their work email for their LinkedIn account, but forget to update this when they move jobs. If you are interested in new opportunities then I recommend you use a personal email address that you have regular access to. I get many messages from potential candidates who I approached months ago who have then replied and shown interest in a job that is already filled.
“That’s it for now. Hope you found something of value in reading this. If there are any other topics that you would like me to write about please do let me know”