Less is More on LinkedIn: Improve Visibility
January 13, 2021
With more than 760 million active users, LinkedIn has become the go-to website for not only job searches, but for creating virtual networks and business opportunities alike.
As a candidate, it can feel like the site is far too sprawling to actually get noticed by employers. As employers, we’re always looking for qualified talent, but finding the right candidate can be challenging. Profiles don’t always disclose what we’re looking for.
How do we enhance our presence to ensure we’re more easily found during a search?
An important consideration when building a LinkedIn profile is standing out from other candidates. Each of us should aim to make a positive 1st impression. We want business partners and/or recruiters to take notice of us, and understand exactly who we are and what we do without having to spend more than a handful of seconds reviewing our profile.
So how do we stand out, what’s the method to this madness?
As employers, we spend an avg. of 7 seconds to review 1 profile or resume. We look at a person’s career progression (including job titles) and length of employment in each role, employer credentials, and degree/education/certification if it matters for the role.
With this in mind, ensure the details above are precise and clearly stated once you save the data you enter. In some cases, the order and format of your profile don’t always reflect the way you intended. Please make sure to verify.
Your headline is a great way to communicate your mission or your primary goal in 1 sentence or less. A majority of profiles mirror their current title in this section. However, if you’re trying to bring more attention to the domain expertise you have, or want someone to take notice of the impact value you bring, this section of real estate gives you the opportunity to provide a concise 1 liner of who you are at a glance.
This section doesn’t have to reflect its namesake, or does it have to be an area to put your life’s work. That being said, it is an area to take advantage of. If worded correctly, this section can provide a brief overview of what someone should expect if they decide to spend up to 7 seconds reviewing. Being concise, adding only relevant information of who you are and/or what you do here makes a strong 1st impression. This section has the opportunity to validate what is below in the experience section and even gives a chance to portray the tone and writing style. This is an area to highlight your mission statement with regards to career trajectory, where you feel your strengths and skills bring the most value.
Employers leverage the summary to get a quick sense of what an applicant believes in. We also look at this section to review your core values and to try and get a sense of your personality and career path. If you’re a designer or have a portfolio to highlight your UI/UX or design skills, this is also a good place to share those links.
Since LinkedIn doesn’t define a space limit for your work experience, we suggest adding major milestones or accomplishments in lieu of day-to-day duties. If your role is less of an individual contributor, we would suggest 3–5 bullet points of the primary day-to-day responsibilities that set you apart from the traditional tasks that can be assumed about the role you’re in. If you’ve held multiple titles in the same company, break it down and list separate bullet points under each job. Employers like to see career progression and growth within the same company.
Endorsements and Recommendations
In theory, this section is leveraged to help validate your expertise and skills from your peer network. The more domain-specific endorsements received the better. Just keep in mind — having someone from another department that has nothing to do with your role/skillset, doesn’t bring any value to the endorsement. Quality over quantity is the best-case scenario in this section.
Always be Networking
Candidate profiles on LinkedIn are always more attractive when mutual contacts are shared with the person that is sourcing or engaging with you for a business opportunity. That’s not to say add everyone you can find on the platform. Ideally, try and connect with team members you’ve worked with prior or have been connected to through networking opportunities or referrals.
Keeping Profiles Up-to-Date
You shouldn’t finish creating your LinkedIn profile and just let it sit dormant expecting the site to do the work for you. Always keep your profile up to date. LinkedIn is the largest up-to-date professional network in the world. Whether you’re looking for your next opportunity, recruiting talent to join your organization, or trying to maintain a strong presence within the business community, it’s imperative you keep your profile updated with the sections above completed. As a reminder, if you haven’t disclosed the right data with enough detail, there’s a possibility you won’t be found.
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