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