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  • Ina Rose

Passion 4 People Getting Hired: Build a Strong Profile on LinkedIn

We’ve talked about the job search process, crafting a great resume and creating your market landscape. Now we move onto your LinkedIn profile. This post is a little long, but I wanted to make sure to share as many tips with you as I can.

Why Have a Profile on LinkedIn?

You HAVE to be on LinkedIn if you are looking for a new position. Here’s why:

  • 87% of recruiters regularly use LinkedIn to find job candidates. I go to LinkedIn Recruiter before my own candidate database because people like you are constantly updating their profiles with new skills and my database is static!

  • Three people are hired through LinkedIn every minute.

  • LinkedIn can hold your master resume. As we talked about in the resume blog, a standard resume really should be two pages long but no one prints LinkedIn profiles. We just scroll down, so it can contain everything you have ever done.

Other Tips:

  • Use a professional-looking photo. Do NOT use a photo where you’ve cropped someone out. Whatever you do – don’t leave it empty! According to LinkedIn, “Members with profile pictures receive 9X more connection requests, 21X more profile views, and 36X more messages than members without one. Regardless of age, people want to know the profile they're looking at belongs to a real, living person.” If you want some guidance on choosing a photo, check out LinkedIn’s tips for profile photos.

  • Change your profile picture visibility to PUBLIC. It makes you easier to find via search engines and other networks. To do this, go to your profile and click “Edit public profile and URL” in the upper-right corner. In the right-side column, you’ll see a rundown of your current visibility options.

  • Pay attention to the “Broadcast” function. If you are going to substantially revise your profile, turn OFF “Broadcast” until you are done so people don’t get alerts after each update.

  • Just like the resume, DO NOT leave experience off your LinkedIn profile because you want to appear younger. See my rant in my resume post for some reasons why. Another reason is that if you omit experience, Linkedin can’t suggest connections from those companies. For some of us, those first few jobs were where we made great friends before kids got in the way of socializing. I just started working with a new client who was in my start class at Touche Ross in 1987! The people you know from those days have likely moved the farthest up the career ladder and may be in a position to help you find a new role better than most folks -- so DON’T leave ANY experience off your profile!

What to Include on Your Profile

  • Everything you did that recruiters or companies might be searching for and that you want to be found for. Cut and paste the information from your resume right into Linkedin. Use industry jargon and keywords but not company-specific jargon. For example, use SEC, GAAP, 10K, 10Q, ASC 606, IPO, M&A, HRIS but not internal abbreviations or acronyms. Look at jobs you would like to apply for. Make sure any recurring keywords are on your profile.

  • Use the summary to tell your story and what you are looking to do next. It’s another opportunity to add those buzzwords in that help you come up in the searches.

  • Use specific terms. As a recruiter, I might search for some specific industries and skills that my client needs. For example: “CPA & Pharmaceuticals & FP&A Manager & Hyperion.” The person whose profile reflects those keywords the most, moves up the highest on the search results. So, if you want a job in FP&A or SEC reporting, make sure the jargon for that role is mentioned multiple times of your profile.

  • Standardize your titles. If you work at a bigger company, your title might be pretty specific, like my friend Greg’s, whose title is “Associate Manager Intercompany Reimbursement Services.” A recruiter or company won’t search for something so specific, so take your title from the drop-down job choices on LinkedIn, ex. Finance Manager, Accounting Manager. Then use the internal title in your description.

  • Ask for recommendations! From your boss is the best, but peers or subordinates are good too. Give some as well, because it feels good!

There are so many things you can do to make your profile better on LinkedIn. I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Next month, I’ll be talking about how to build your LinkedIn connections, so stay tuned!

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