By Erin Pittman
Do you know how your LinkedIn profile stacks up to others in your field? Have you completed each section to maximize your profile? Maybe you’re still wondering what this LinkedIn stuff is all about. No matter where you’re starting from, read on to complete a killer profile that will get you noticed.
What’s the Purpose of a Profile?
For most, the purpose of having a LinkedIn profile is to improve networking and advance their career. Many LinkedIn users believe their profile is simply their resume, copy and pasted into the fields. It really shouldn’t be. Your profile should tell a bigger story than your resume ever could. Think of all those key details about projects and specifics about positions you nix to make your resume succinct; this is the place to showcase them. Give your audience some real content to chew on.
Why Are Keywords Important?
Keywords are used by search engines to categorize content. LinkedIn uses them in the same fashion within its site. In fact, think of it as everyone being indexed based upon job titles and functions. With this in mind, you can see why it’s essential to use keywords within your profile. But which keywords should you chose?
Consider the job title you have or would like to have, as well as the skills you want to emphasize. These are the keywords you should pepper throughout your profile. Place them strategically:
- In the headline – This is the most highly read part of your profile. Make sure you fit keywords in here.
- In the job title field – Take your title and expand upon it. Don’t just list yourself as a materials manager. Write “Materials manager – long-term care and hospitals.” Tailor it to your field or add other details.
- Throughout the summary – As you tell your story, fit your keywords in throughout.
- In extra fields – Projects and other extra fields are great places to feature your experience — and your keywords!
What Are the Important Elements of a Summary?
Since the summary is widely read, be sure to invest plenty of time in telling your story. Remember, this isn’t like the summary on your resume, which is usually adapted to help you land a particular position. The LinkedIn summary allows you to speak widely about your positions and all positions you would like to be considered for; you’re casting a wider net here.
Always think about your intended audience, which in this case is likely a recruiter or hiring manager. Be authentic, catch their attention and find ways to make yourself stand out. Don’t be the 10th detail-oriented and organized person they’ve reviewed in the past hour. Find unique ways to describe your experience — paint them a picture. Remember to include your keywords. And if you’re struggling with the right words, take a look at some job postings for jobs like yours or job descriptions of jobs you are seeking. You can also review the profiles of successful senior performers in your field to help you build your summary.
Implement a few of these ideas and truly transform your profile. Go from the standard resume to a standout profile that will catch the eye of twice as many recruiters and help you build a vast network.
“Your Words Mean Business” provides insights and tips to business owners, organizations and professionals seeking to better their performance and increase their bottom line through sharpening written communication skills.