Improving Your Linked-In Profile
In my role as an executive recruiter and leadership coach, I look at a lot of LinkedIn profiles. The best ones help me want to read them and to see your value. Profiles do not need to be a masterpiece with vectors, images, and lasers, but they need to command attention. I use LinkedIn for recruiting, for sure, but also to learn about people I might partner.
The successful profile has these attributes:
- Overview: Right off the bat, tell people how you add value, what your unique offer is, and what accomplishment you have made. Claim your greatness here, without being arrogant; avoid being so humble that it is hard to know if you know yourself as a leader should. Make sure your brand is clear here.
- Roles: As you list your roles, be sure to include a brief description of your responsibilities and how well objectives were reached for each role. Financial successes are great, but also reveal emotional intelligence, a key leader attribute. Setbacks with recoveries can be included, as you’re human. If you have more had than one role in an organization, list each separately so that your progression is obvious.
- Community:This often is overlooked, but from a recruiter’s perspective, it may say more about character than business accomplishments. It is not the nature of the community work – you may tutor children at school, serve on a board for a non-profit, or raise money for a new hospital wing – what matters is that you step into leadership roles where a community need fits your abilities.
- Education: Include both the formal degree accomplishment and certificates. Include extracurricular efforts – I am impressed by people who show initiative early. If you worked while going to school, include it as one of your roles. That’s impressive.
- Personal Accomplishments: If you were an Eagle Scout, drum major or captain of the sports team include it. People who add value in a number of domains are more impressive as a candidate.
- Recommendations: Ask for recommendations. I read them.
- Portrait: We are visual beings, and I prefer a straightforward, high-quality photo; suit or business casual, doesn’t matter. If you choose to not include a photo, consider an icon or other image to help memory.
Make points quickly. Have someone who knows you review it and provide you with critical feedback. Ask them for one thing to add, and one thing to delete. Make sure your resume and profile align because it raises a question if they don’t. Lastly, style is good, but content wins over style.