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9 Tips to Build a Standout LinkedIn Profile That Employers will Flock to

Posted September 8, 2014 by Sally Calloway in Uncategorized


“It is not just about who you know. It is about who knows you.”

This is the reality in today’s job market, says Richard Feller, Ph.D., President of the National Career Development Association. I attended the National Resume Writers’ Association (NRWA) conference in Chicago recently, and a common theme among the group was trends on leveraging social media to help our clients attract recruiters and hiring managers. LinkedIn was of particular interest as it has proven to be a gateway to being discovered. A recent article by the Harvard Business Review highlighted the growing trend of recruiters and hiring managers relying heavily on the internet to research candidates for employment. Multiple studies convincingly show more than 75 percent of employers actively research candidates online.

My fellow NRWA members and I had the pleasure of hearing Dean R. DeLisle of Forward Progress speak about building the ultimate LinkedIn profile. Through our combined experience, and proven strategies, I share with you these nine powerful tips to help you maximize your profile to get discovered.

  1. Include a photo of yourself. Smile and appear approachable. Refrain from using logos or a photo of you with someone else.  Consider having a professional photo taken. This can give you an edge and help you stand out among the crowd of other internship/job candidates that hiring manager and recruiters are searching for. Look to see what type of photo others in your industry are using.
  2. Be sure your headline pops. Perhaps the most important section on your profile, your headline, must spark an interest and attract people to click-through from search listings. “Business Administration Graduate with an exceptional resume, references and portfolio. Internship opportunities welcome” is an example for college students who are prospecting for an internship. An example for other job seekers: “Top-Performing General Manager; 11 years experience at the forefront of global operations for the hospitality industry.”  You only have 120 characters with which to make a strong impression.
  3. Write a Summary that rocks.  Make a great first impression by integrating your personality and your values into 3-5 short paragraphs. Unlike your resume, it is recommended to use first person in your LinkedIn profile summary. Avoid writing in the third person. Include bulleted statements in the middle to showcase quantifiable examples of success along with your relevant industry experience and knowledge. You may also include multi-media like pictures, slide-shows, and videos to present your senior projects (college students) or other projects that are relevant to the industry and job you are targeting.
  4. Upload your current resume as a PDF file. Before doing so, be sure it is competitive, illustrating what you have contributed to your employers and what you bring to the table. Instead of thinking “What’s In It for Me” (WIFM) think WIFT (What’s In It For Them?) Them being prospective employers, and how will they benefit by hiring you?
  5. Complete the current job entry section even if you are unemployed. You may not show up in searches otherwise. Create a “mock” job entry by entering the title of the position that you are seeking. Ex: Top-Performing Advertising Sales Executive.”  Note a phrase like ‘Available for Hire’ or ‘In Transition’ in the company box.
  6. Speak to your Accomplishments. Complete your Experience section the same way you craft a resume. Don’t just list what you were responsible for under each position. Include outcomes as a result of carrying out your responsibilities exceptionally well. Use specific quantifiable examples of success whenever possible.
  7. Take advantage of LinkedIn Skills. You are allowed up to 50 skills, and they show up in search engines, so choose those that will appeal to hiring managers in your target industry. College students can choose relevant skills developed through coursework. Refer to your course syllabi to find the strongest competencies.
  8. Customize your LinkedIn profile URL. It condenses down the link size making it easier to include on your resume and other marketing documents. Follow these steps: On the Edit Profile screen, at the bottom of the gray window that shows your basic information, you’ll see a Public Profile URL. Click “Edit” next to the URL, and specify what you’d like your address to be then click Set Custom URL.
  9. Take the time to complete your profile fully. A completed profile is more likely to show up in searches and therefore increases your odds of being discovered.

Other valuable tips: Build your network to at least 50 connections. Join groups. Get endorsements and recommendations. Update your status at least once a week. Add your blog or share your perspective and knowledge by writing about your field.

Your profile may be your first impression, and only opportunity to win over recruiters and hiring managers. Maximize it so that you get discovered and land more interviews.

For more free tips, tools and proven strategies to help you land a new job fast go to: www.careercoachsally.com

About the Author

Sally Calloway

As a Certified Professional Career Coach, Expert Resume Writer and Employment Trends Analyst, Sally Calloway has discovered new rules, and little-known, proven strategies that every job seeker needs to know. Throughout her 15-year span of career development experience, Sally has collaborated and consulted with human resources professionals and recruiters across the globe, and with renowned organizations including Disney and MGM International. In her former role, Calloway served as the College director of career services for eight years. She taught career success classes and provided career services to thousands of students and graduates helping them land internships and employment despite the downturn of the employment economy. Currently as an author, speaker career coach, and expert resume writer she coaches and mentors job seekers of all levels from recent college graduates to C-level executives, and former military personnel. Coach Sally has transformed thousands of resumes into job-winning machines that recruiters rave about through her powerful “value-stacking” resume building technique. Her revolutionary job interview techniques help candidates interview with ease and confidence, land offers on the spot, and more money. Sally Calloway has a passion for helping job seekers effectively illustrate their accomplishments on their resume and communicate their value with confidence in interviews so that they can achieve their career dreams. For a free resume critique, you may email your resume as a Word attachment to coachsally49@gmail.com For speaking inquiries, Sally Calloway may be contacted via email at: coachsally49@gmail.com