There are over 673 million users on LinkedIn, yet many job seekers wonder if the social media platform is worth their time.
Is LinkedIn necessary to win a new job? Do you need a robust profile to land that new client?
The Ivy Exec Advisory team suggests the answer is yes. 77 percent of clients, potential managers, colleagues, and others in the business world will look up your LinkedIn at one point or another.
You might think that your LinkedIn profile already conveys a sense of who you are. True, your professional history – your degrees, where you’ve worked, and even your big “wins” – are unlikely to change often. However, maintaining a static profile for months or years means you aren’t making the most of your profile.
It’s time to update your LinkedIn profile. Consider these three tips for LinkedIn optimization from The Ivy Exec Advisory team’s recent webinar, “Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile to Advance.”
Create a Concise, Descriptive Headline
Every LinkedIn profile starts out with a headline.
Many people think their headline should simply list their current title, but advisor Andjela Milenkovic says a headline like this one would be incomplete.
Instead, a headline should briefly detail your accomplishments, your professional history, and your goals.
Football star Tim Tebow’s headline is a good example of what you want to do:
4x NYT Best-Selling Author, 2x National Champion, Heisman Trophy Winner, Co-Founder at Campus Legends, Chairman of the TTF, and ESPN Analyst
“Even if I didn’t know who he was, I’d be interested to find out more about him, contact him, follow him, and see what he has to say,” said Andjela.
She then shares the winning formula for crafting a headline: keywords and a mini pitch.
First, consider the positions you are targeting based on the keywords relevant in your field. Then include an achievement or achievements that define you for your mini pitch.
“Take this example: ‘Project manager | product development | Increasing Cross-Functional Team Productivity by 45%’. We have it all.We have keywords, we have that mini pitch, we can see right away that this isn’t just any project manager, right, but a successful one who can increase productivity by four to five percent,” Andjela mentions.
Write an Interesting and Interactive “About” Section
Your “About” section should be a personal story about yourself that also incorporates some of the keywords you researched for your headline.
Advisor Anastazija Gavrilovic shares her tips for creating a memorable About section when updating your LinkedIn profile.
The first element is an opening sentence that hooks the audience. For instance, you could start with a question or a personal statement like “I love selling brands, I hate selling myself.”
“One of my personal favorites is having a short provocative sentence to start with. That can be very intriguing. The example that we have here, ‘I caught fire coding.’ It’s very dramatic; we’re not sure what it means,” said Anastazija.
Next, the About section should answer the following questions:
Who are you as a professional?
Here’s an example answer to that question: “As a visionary and entrepreneurial sales and operations leader, I have built a reputation for delivering strong and sustained contributions to revenue, margin, and productivity of startup high growth, and turn around organizations within the financial services sector.”
What are you proud of?
“You could say in the last five years, or in the last 10 years, I’m proud to have achieved ____. Then you can give us some bullet points with your results. Or you could give us your overall career highlights,” said Anastazija.
Why are you good at it?
Be as specific and quantifiable in this section as possible. Share some of your biggest wins.
The final sections of the About section should include a few sentences about who you are outside of the office and conclude with a call to action.
“What would you like for someone to do after they’ve read your summary?” Anastazija asked.
Do More Than List Your Professional History
In your Professional History section, you want to list the roles you’ve held and the results you’ve generated in those roles.
Advisor Andrijana Milosevic notes the types of information each professional history listing should include:
- The scope of the role, including the number of people you managed and the size of the budget you controlled.
- Five to seven bullet points that demonstrate your results.
- Your most important accomplishments first
- Metrics in at least two to three of the first bullets describing the role.
Here are some things you do NOT want in your professional experience section when updating your LinkedIn profile:
- Long paragraphs or blocks of text.
- A focus on what the company has achieved, not what you have achieved.
- A list of your responsibilities; this portrays you as a “doer,” not as a “achiever.”
- A long list of your skills.
Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn profile should convey who you are outside of the confines of the limited, dry resume. How can you encapsulate your professional background in a headline? How can you summarize who you are as a professional in your About section?
Once you can answer these questions, you’ll be able to craft a memorable and unique LinkedIn profile that details how you stand out from the crowd.
Watch the complete webinar for more optimization tips and ideas about what to do – and avoid – in every section of your profile.