LinkedIn Profile Tune Up Clues

3 Clues Your LinkedIn Profile Needs A Tune-Up

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Every day, employers and recruiters comb LinkedIn to find fresh, available talent available for hot job opportunities. But are they locating YOU – and selecting you as a prime candidate for a great job?

If not, your LinkedIn Profile might be letting them (and you) down, with insufficient detail and a lack of brand messaging to tell them they’re in the right place.

Take a close look at your Profile to see if you’ve missed out on some great opportunities by committing these errors:

1. You’ve Neglected Your Summary

The most powerful tool for showcasing brand value, your LinkedIn Summary, merits special attention. However, if you’ve left it blank (or worse – stuffed in a few nondescript phrases about your reputation as a “team player”), you’ve just missed out on a huge opportunity for promotion.

If you’re ignoring the Summary section because you don’t know what to write, then make a quick list of all the reasons someone should hire you, combined with the highlights of your career:

  • Advanced degrees, certifications, or other notable credentials
  • Success stories that exemplify your work style
  • Specific skills, technology abilities, and leadership competencies
  • Desirable patterns in your career, such as a record of quick promotion

Now, form several short, power-packed sentences about your value-add and career history:

As an IT leader, I’ve earned progressive promotions from project and infrastructure leadership to the role of CIO at XYZ Corporation.

During our growth to a multibillion-dollar force in healthcare, my work has aligned a 300-member IT staff with stakeholder needs for business process improvement and cloud-enabled solutions.

Upon earning an Executive Leadership certificate from Stanford University, I’ve also worked closely with the Board and CEO to make our company the first industry leader using mobile technology support to users.

Note the use of keywords (healthcare, cloud-enabled solutions, infrastructure leadership, mobile technology, stakeholder needs, business process improvement, etc.)

As you can see, a branded and powerful Summary is all in how you frame career experience and pull it together for promotional impact.

2. You’re Still Using Long Chunks Of (Unreadable) Text

If you believe long paragraphs are difficult to read on a resume, try navigating them online! Unfortunately, many LinkedIn users simply transfer a wordy resume to their Profile – posing a challenge to employers who want to quickly surf it for key skills.

Instead, try examining each resume sentence for value and breaking it into shorter, easier-to-navigate pieces of information.

As an example, “Grew account volume 32% with new alliance-building strategy, created sales education webinar series, and hired 24 sales executives for national account support” can be transformed into:

- 32% more accounts from alliance-building strategy

- Better customer service from 24 sales hires trained via new webinars

As you condense your message into tightly written sentences, you’ll find it easier to concentrate on keywords and quantifiable evidence of your talents.

3. Your Experience Section Reads Like A Series Of Job Descriptions

“Responsible for coordinating the daily operations for the sales department” probably won’t wake up anyone who reads your Profile.

However, “Streamlined the Sales function to provide reps with shortcuts to product materials, contributing to 12% more revenue” might do the trick.

The fastest way to give your Experience section more punch is to add metrics and describe how your initiative created more… more customers, more profit, or more cost savings.

Employers would rather see the specifics than try to figure out how you added value. Brainstorm a list of quantifiable accomplishments using that old standby, the C-A-R format (Challenge-Action-Result) strategy, then tighten each sentence down to short, meaningful statements.

If you’ve realized you’re missing out on some great self-marketing opportunities, it’s never too late to give your LinkedIn Profile a boost.

Value-specific, metrics-laden content might convince employers and recruiters to give you a second look.


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Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Laura Smith-Proulx

Multi-credentialed executive resume writer Laura Smith-Proulx of An Expert Resume is the #1 U.S. TORI resume award record-holder and a published global expert on executive branding and LinkedIn strategies.

8 comments

  1. Thanks for a good summary, but I’m baffled by all the descriptions of metrics and sweeping summaries. Aren;’t we getting perilously close to a (hazard music here)… resume?! We’ve been warned incessantly that resume content is not the way to go, that something more personal and idiosyncratic is needed in the LinkedIn profile– like descriptions of keen interests and personal missions. Also, maybe a 4th clue that something is amiss is plenty of views, but no calls or contacts. More could be said about how we tip things over the threshold.

    So, keep on with the contributions– you’re almost there with the finish in sight.

    • K,

      It is important to look at the purpose of the content on your profile as well as your resume. The purpose in not to inform but to create interest. Personal idiosyncracies are of little or no interest to those hiring. They do not care about you, only what benefit you can bring to them to help solve their problems. I hate to be the one to break the bad news but they could not give a hoot if you were the national snowball hurling champion.

      The narratives, properly done, can give a clear link between what you have done for other employers in the past and what valuable skills and personal temperments move with you to your new position. Metrics used properly reinforce the results of your actions.

  2. Thank you Laura,

    What a great article! I have not wriiten anything down on my summary section perhaps, I do not know what to put there. Now with these tips/advice I will write something.

  3. Yet another relevant demonstration of the importance of narrative. Stories are central to the human experience, for teaching, relating and entertaining. By building stories into your LinkedIn profile, you provide easy ways for recruiters and potential employers to absorb the information you’re presenting, to relate it to their own experience or to the experience required for an open position, and to remember you by (we remember stories that entertain us, not ones that bore us). It can take some time to understand how to present your personal narrative, but once you’ve discovered it, you have everything you need to effectively relate who you are and what you do, regardless of the forum. The story that makes a great LinkedIn profile can be summarized in your elevator pitch, and can become anecdotal material for interviews.
    Thanks for the interesting article! I’m off to update my profile right now.

  4. Laura,

    As an interview coach I read this blog on a regular basis. I oftern scratch my head trying to understand the real value that some articles offer those in career transition. Some of the information is bland, some down right counter-productive. Your article is one of the best I have seen. It is spot-on, information dense, and highly usable. Congratulations on presenting valuable information to those that need it.

    All the best,

    Seth

  5. Another sure fire way to catch people’s attention, an you touched on it briefly, is to use metrics in your profile. How much did you lift sales by? How much profit did you generate? How much did your process redesign save your company. This shows that your solutions and ideas can have impact on a company’s performance.

    • Good Article Laura. Thanks for sharing. The best LinkedIn Summary statements include a short story of your Skills, Experiences and accomplishments. A story relevant to who you are, not who you have been.

      The same philosophy applies to your experience section of LinkedIn. Tell short stories of Project/Problem, Action, Result/Value relevant to who you are & what you do/want to do.

      Thanks for sharing Laura.

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