It’s All About a Catchy Headline…

Good. I hope I got your attention. Whether it’s a newspaper article, a blog post, or a billboard, headlines are what initially grab consumers’ attention. This is no different on the professional social networking site LinkedIn.

Do you have a profile? Are you a professional? Then you should. But when was the last time you updated your profile? If it’s been awhile you may want to log in and make some updates. The social network has undergone some changes and users should make sure their profile is the best it can be.

For a longtime people didn’t view LinkedIn as a valuable social network, as compared to networks like Facebook and Twitter. But the site has steadily grown and is now valued at over $18 billion. With over 200 million members, LinkedIn continues to put its stamp on the working world.

JobHuntingInfographicDid you know social media helps 1 in 6 job seekers land a job? And 93% of recruiters now use LinkedIn to find potential employees. And many of the jobs recruiters are looking to fill are higher level jobs that pay well. Just the other day I was talking with two human resources professionals at my company and they said the last two senior vice president positions they filled came via LinkedIn. It shocked me at first because I hadn’t really thought about online recruitment for management level positions, but it really is a great way to learn about someone professionally before spending a lot of money to recruit them via traditional methods. The moral here is make sure your LinkedIn profile is good because you never know which potential employers may contact you.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. As I said, it’s all about the headline. Make sure it’s catchy, yet informative and accurate.
  2. Get personal. While LinkedIn is a professional network, make sure your profile includes some personal information about your interests, hobbies, etc. These types of attributes can also attract potential employers.
  3. Spell check. There is really no excuse for misspelled words and bad grammar. Read, re-read, and then read again.
  4. Provide a call to action. Make it easy for people to learn more about you or how to contact you.
  5. Include information about education, awards, and recommendations. This will help build your personal brand and help you be seen as an authority in certain industries.
  6. Add keywords. Think about what people may be searching for on LinkedIn or on search engines like Google. If your profile has significant references to key terms, your profile is more likely to populate in searches.
  7. Stand out. With so many users, profiles can become monotonous. Remember, to keep it professional but look for different and creative ways to stand out from other profiles. Circling back to No. 1 a catchy headline may just do the trick.

In this multimedia world, it seems like common sense to keep personal and professional networking separate. But there are many people who don’t and make mistakes that can have a big impact on their careers. Here are some mistakes to avoid on LinkedIn:

  1. Not using a picture. People want to see you. They are more likely to pass on profiles without pictures than those with pictures. Remember, keep it professional though. Save the cute pet and kid pictures for other social networks!
  2. Post status updates. Potential employers want to see active profiles. Share information about yourself, the industry you work in, and maybe other knowledge you think will set yourself up to look like an expert.
  3. Using the default connection request. Personalize any connection request you send. Again, it’ll help you stand out more on a crowded network (I’m guilty of doing this, so looks like I need to keep my own advice in mind!).
  4. Include past jobs and volunteer work. Your profile should portray you as well-rounded. Include as much professional information as possible and the organizations you associate with. You never know what could peak a potential employers interest. It may be where you volunteer rather than what’s listed on your traditional resume,
  5. Don’t neglect privacy settings. If you’re looking for a new job, you may not want your current employer to see that your revamping your LinkedIn profile. Just something to keep in mind.

I’ll admit my LinkedIn profile isn’t the best. It’s a work in progress and that’s how you should feel about your own profile. Constantly be thinking about ways to improve it or utilize the network to connect with other professionals.

Connect with me on LinkedIn!

Questions to Consider:

What do you think is the most important aspect of a LinkedIn profile? What grabs your attention?

Have you ever been contacted via LinkedIn about a job and wound up taking/getting it?

If you’ve hired someone via LinkedIn, what grabbed your attention on their profile at first?

Other Resources:

Five Mistakes Journalists Make on LinkedIn

How to Protect Yourself on LinkedIn

Preparing for the New LinkedIn Design: How to Optimize Your Page and Profile

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7 thoughts on “It’s All About a Catchy Headline…

  1. Hi Laura.

    There are several key aspects to creating a strong LinkedIn profile. When I look at a LinkedIn profile I expect to see a clear headshot of one person so that I have a sense of who I am connecting with. Headshots can vary by industry, i.e. a medical professional would wear a white coat, a business executive may wear a suit and tie or blouse, and a fashionista could use a glamour style headshot for an avatar. It’s also important to complete one’s profile 100%, which includes obtaining at least 2 visible recommendations, and displaying a portfolio of one’s work. For us journalists and marketers, embedding a demo reel, or a multimedia rich presentation via SideShare s a must. Writing a clear and concise summary that briefly explains one’s educational background, skill-set and goals is imperative. All in all, your entire LinkedIn profile should prove what you know, how you know it, and who can validate those facts.

    • Jason, you offer some great tips. I agree with your points on head shots, and I think your point about including a reel or some examples of work is an important differentiator. Someone can be attract by your headshot or summary, but examples of your work can keep them interested.

  2. Laura,

    I think the most important aspect of LinkedIn is the summary. Hiring managers most likely will just be scanning through profiles, not taking the time to read about every experience that you’ve had. The summary allows hiring managers to get a brief view of what you’ve done, and what skills you learned that will help prepare you for a prospective position. It’s also a great area to include key words so your profile shows up in searches.

    • A summary is very important to grab people’s attention. I think it’s also a good time to show some of your personality. Anyone can read your resume or work experience, but your summary can be more expressive and give a potential employer a better look into who you are.

  3. Laura,

    Great post!

    I believe work choice is the most important aspect of social media, especially a website such as LinkedIn. It’s similar the the idea of having good SEO for Google searches. You know the field you want to work in and what you hope to do within that field, so professionals should pick words that would direct they type of interest.

    I have been contacted via LinkedIn regarding a part-time position working with baseball prospect camps. While I still correspond with the company, it was not a good fit for me at the time.

    • Casey, I agree keywords help attract the right connections. I too have been contacted by several companies via LinkedIn, including from a major competitor of my organization. While it’s not the right time for me to make a move professionally, it’s good to know my profile is attractive to potential employers. Thanks for the comment.

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