Top Takeaways from LinkedIn Workshop
By Lin Laurie
On January 27, 2018, Marybeth Redmond gave a great workshop on creating a LinkedIn profile to wow recruiters. Here are some takeaways I thought I’d share with those of you who couldn’t attend.
Add a Recent Profile Picture
Pick a recent picture for your profile. If you do this, the statistics of getting contacted for new roles is amazing. Your picture should meet the following criteria:
- It should be a recent headshot.
- You should look professional.
- It should be a head-on shot (but not look like a mug shot).
- You should be smiling, and it is even better if you are showing teeth with your smile.
Pick a Meaningful Background Image
Pick a background for your image to make it stand out from the rest.
- Click the Edit pen at the top of your Profile.
- Upload a new image. Here is a second option for the background. (See before and after options below.)
- You can play until you find a background that you like. Search for ”Banner images” on Google and experiment with your findings. The size needed for this image is 1584×396 px.
Create a Concise, Impactful Profile Headline
Make sure your Profile Headline tells the reader what you’re looking for. In my most recent headline, I let people know I am open to work doing RoboHelp training, conversion, and consulting. We also learned that this section helps you appear higher in search results. So, if someone is looking for a RoboHelp trainer, I’ll likely show up higher in the resulting search because I’ve got the term “RoboHelp” in my Profile Headline.
Any time you post something on LinkedIn, your headline text will appear, so you want to maximize your message each time you post anywhere on LinkedIn. This is an additional way to communicate something out to other LinkedIn members about what you are looking for.
Write a Well-Crafted Summary
Use the Summary to tell a story to your readers. I’ve got a list of the software I use right up front because when I created my profile, there wasn’t a separate section for it. I’ve also got contact information the Summary. There is a school of thought that you shouldn’t put that information in your summary. Because I operate as a business, I include every possible way people can connect with me.
Ask for Recommendations Now!
Don’t wait until you’re leaving a company to ask for them. The best time to do it is as soon as you complete a project where people are complimenting you on the final results. Just slip a request into the conversation at the time people are telling you they like the job you did, like: “Thanks for the compliment. If I sent you an invitation, would you mind saying that very thing in a recommendation on LinkedIn for me?” Do this in the heat of the moment, when people are excited about what you did for them—not two years later, when they barely remember. In addition, offer to recommend them in return but only when you can be sincere about what you are saying about them.
Write Your Job Responsibilities as Quantifiable Accomplishments
Instead of writing a paragraph of dense text, full of acronyms that no one outside your current company will understand, create a list of accomplishments. Make sure you can quantify them. Even if you are a junior-level writer, you have accomplished quantifiable deliverables. For instance, if you worked for a company for three months, and edited 75 pages per week of technical material, do the math. And if you have no idea how many pages you can edit or write, now is the time to start tracking those metrics for yourself. Metrics are the reality of business.
Here are some examples of quantifiable accomplishments, taken from my resume:
- Developed a syllabus for a 26-week technical Recruiter Training Program’s event-recruiting process.
- Created more than 20 courses (Word, PPTs, Job Aids, and supporting materials) in 3 mos.
- Saved $2.5 million by developing an internal system to track, manage, and assign vendor vouchers to software developers so they could be used instead of expiring. Prior to my taking over of this area, vouchers given as part of large hardware purchases would inadvertently expire because no one was managing them.
You can use number of pages, number of days, number of deliverables, dollars saved, and other values to quantify your performance, making it easier for potential employers to see your value.
Note: In the workshop, Marybeth made of point of saying that there should be a difference between the details we have on LinkedIn and on our Resumes. Our resumes should contain more detail. But high-level accomplishments are what recruiters want to see on LinkedIn. And in a lot of cases, recruiters will look at both so keep that in mind when you start applying for jobs so that you don’t create conflicting stories between both items.
There are a couple of interesting privacy settings you should know about. One involves letting recruiters know that you’re open to opportunities without your company being able to see the flag and the other allows you to view other people’s profiles in “stealth” mode so they won’t be able to tell that you viewed their profiles.
- Click Me at the top of the LinkedIn menu, and select Settings and Privacy.
- Click on Privacy.
Let Recruiters Know You’re Available
There is a new option where you can let recruiters know that you’re open to opportunities without making it obvious to the company you work for. It is under Job seeking preferences in your account settings.
- Select Job seeking preferences.
- Click the option “Let recruiters know you’re open to opportunities” and make sure the button is turned to Yes.
Profile Viewing Options
- Click on How others see your LinkedIn activity.
- Select Private Mode so you can view a profile anonymously. This will affect your ability to see who has viewed your profile unless you turn it off and on briefly just to view someone’s profile quickly.
- View the profile you want, and then return and change your option back to name and headline immediately.
Keep Active on LinkedIn
Once your profile is online, and everything is perfect, you need to stay active on LinkedIn.
- Join professional groups and participate in discussions.
- Like other people’s posts.
- Follow thought leaders and influencers.
- Reach out and connect with others.
- Like posts that you see on your LinkedIn Feed and include a comment about the post so that people know you actually read it.
- Post items on your feed for others to like, but make sure they are professional.
- Write articles and blog posts related to your profession and post them on LinkedIn.
Keep inviting people to connect. Make it a game to add five new people each week or try to meet and add new people at each STC meeting.
Don’t forget, the best time to create and edit your profile is before you need it. You don’t want to have to go through the building process to create a new profile after you’ve left a job and need one fast.