We keep reading and watch videos on how important it is to have a great LinkedIn profile and what are the methods of having a well written profile description etc. My question and concerns are how often we practice them to our advantage.
For past two decades I have been in the talent acquisition & executive search space. I have experienced and witnessed LinkedIn’s growth as a potential job site, besides exchange of professional ideas and wisdom on this platform. Not only did my connections grow, but of course my experience of reading profiles to be able to evaluate the maximum potential of individuals has also grown. I will share some of my observations here:
- We tend to write our current designations that are incomplete without mention of their functional specialisation or industry specialisation. Sometimes they are abbreviated & it becomes difficult to understand what the person really does. Mind you, this profile is indeed by you, but not for you.
- We often miss out to mention our key competencies that make us distinctive from the rest of the group.
- We may think that writing my present designation will help people understand what I do. On the contrary, the reader wonders what the tasks I am doing or what is my role.
- Many a time, we write too much or too little about our previous organisations without realising if the previous experiences are giving meaningful conclusions/directions to my career path or not.
- We may also feel shy in asking for recommendations, wondering what will the person think if I am seeking for a job, which sometimes could be the case, but not always. It is better highlighted if knowing yourself comes written through others eyes. Secondly, there is an old saying that anyone can promote anyone, except himself or herself. So, recommendations can do more for you than the rest of the information. Thirdly, it is very motivating to do more and better when we read recommendations. Also, writing a few lines for others will only help us, may be by getting a return favour.
Of course, we should approach only those who are connected to us professionally. Any suspicion that it is fake or frivolous, will destroy the whole effort.
One may wonder what is new is in this article, we already know about it. I am sure many of us know about it, but I will encourage each one of you who reads this piece, spend at least a minute reading your own profile and ask
- Does it position your distinctiveness in skill or competence in a way that it would encourage people to talk to you?
- Is it able to tell your target audience that you can help them in anyway with your expertise and if a potential recruiter or a company would be interested in investing in you?
If you think the answer is yes, great. Else, you need to improve upon your profile. What are you waiting for, let’s start the journey of discovering your abilities and potentials that you have hidden so far from the world.
Following additional tips may bring quick results.
- Look at your Name and check the headline below. It must contain your present designation, your functional abilities, who do you serve or which industry you belong to. This should be able to quickly tell your audience what level you are at and what functional expertise you carry and for which industry segment.
- In the headline area you may choose to categorize geography/territory or even specific target audience that you are willing to draw attention to instead of just industry.
- Your summary must highlight your experience in your functional area in order to help the reader to gain confidence in you that you have the ability and the experience in your field. People like to read short and to the point messages, so try to keep it short and simple.
- Writing about your achievements too will help potential client/recruiter to pick your profile over and above other candidates faster.
- I am sure you must be proud of the school and college you have read through, mention them instead of just writing your degree. Even if you have done an online course or a course through distance education, own it up. After all you did spend time in choosing to learn from that institute/university over others. Highlight your projects, achievements, awards, recognitions.
- Last but not the least, write in your own language and do not copy and paste from anywhere as the idea of making the right profile is to be able to feel the essence of your personality. So, a well written profile will always find your inner soul in it which is going to draw attention of the reader.
Try some of the above. These are of course not the golden rules, but some of them are surely tried and tested. Do let me know if they did help you in anyway. Happy profile writing!!!