Happy New Year to you!
It’s 2018, we’re in the depths of the digital age and LinkedIn has become the essential personal branding tool to position you for your ideal role, and get you in front of the people important to your career goals.
However, I’ve found all too often with clients, despite initially creating an all-star profile (basically, all the sections completed) they’ve let their LinkedIn profile fall by the wayside until that perfect role pops up, and manic makeover ensues!
Auditing Your Profile and Online Presence
Commit to auditing your profile and online presence every 3 months and you’ll save yourself the unnecessary stress. This process is made so much clearer and simpler when you first understand these 3 things:
- Your target role
- Your ideal audience
- Your unique selling point
Keeping this in mind, here are the key things you need to refresh for the year ahead.
1. Your Profile Picture
Firstly, if you don’t have one at all this is doing you some serious disservice! LinkedIn stats report that your reader is 21x more likely to click through to your profile if you include a professional clear photo. An easy way to up your visibility, right!?
If you already have one, is it up to date? You might have gone with a new look in the past year, lost 20kg, grown out that facial fuzz. Keep it fresh and appropriate for your industry.
2. Your Headline
You’ve heard the saying ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have’, right? You need to take a similar approach with your headline. If I were a recruiter searching on LinkedIn to fill what you consider to be your ideal role, would I find you?
Say you were a Project Manager whose responsibility had escalated in the last 12 months but for minimal return – i.e. at a company that didn’t value or reward your skillset with official progression, or where the culture just wasn’t aligned with you. Your default headline of ‘Project Manager’ won’t indicate that you are who I’m looking for.
So get specific: Senior Project Manager on $15-$100M Civil Infrastructure Projects (Mid-tier). If that’s remotely what I’m looking for I’m going to click through to your profile to read on, which brings me to…
3. Your Summary
Your summary is key to your positioning on LinkedIn. A summary utilizing the complete character availability (2000 characters) makes your profile more likely to show up in a search.
Make it clear how you can help your ideal audience, and keep it future-focused and aspirational – demonstrating what results you can help them achieve, and supporting with key highlights and contributions.
Revise your summary regularly to include any recent and relevant achievements, projects completed, awards or new skills/capabilities. Don’t be shy to add some personality. Nearly 40% of recruiters are looking for this.
Show that you are ready for that next role and how, with your unique skills, specialties, training and track record of results, there's no better fit.
4. Your Experience
I know you’ve accomplished new things in the last 12 months, taken on new responsibilities and made a valuable and tangible contribution to your team. Make sure you are adding this experience to your most recent role, including any further professional development and higher-level skills you’ve demonstrated.
Remember that recruiters want to see what you actually did. Your responsibilities don’t say anything about how good you were. What did you actually achieve and how?
Example: Achieved 5% direct and 12% indirect savings through initiation and implantation of a Lean Six Sigma project.
5. Your Skills
Almost every client I have worked with has been unaware that their skills section is prime SEO real estate. Your skills count as keywords. Even if you don’t have a certain word anywhere else in your profile, putting it as a skill will make your profile show up when someone searches for that word or phrase.
This is such a simple and impactful update that you can make today. If you’re not sure where to start, check out some profiles of your competitors i.e. the people currently in the role you aspire to. What common skills and keywords are they using?
Making small changes to your LinkedIn more regularly will ensure you are not only prepared for that next perfect opportunity, but are showing up on the radar of recruiters, and giving the best, most up-to-date insight into who you are and what you do.