“Imagine how boring life would be if we were all the same. My idea of a perfect world is one in which we appreciate each other’s differences; one in which we are all equal but definitely not the same” Barbra Streisand
When I read the above quote LinkedIn came to my mind, with circa. 280 million users in 200 countries and territories how can we ensure that we present ourselves and stand out as a professional within our industry without looking like everyone else?
Research informs us that approx. 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates, on this basis I feel it imperative that we take our LinkedIn profiles seriously, after all they represent our personal brand. Statistics recently shared on-line by LinkedIn stated;
- 70% of employers have rejected a candidate because of information they found out about that person online.
- 85% of employers say that a positive online reputation influences their hiring decisions.
- 70% of jobs are found through networking.
So what does everyone else’s LinkedIn profile look like?
- Incomplete profile – failing to complete an “All-Star” profile strength will result in receiving limited opportunities. According to LinkedIn those who complete their profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.
- Restricted privacy settings – How can you be presented with new opportunities if you hide yourself on LinkedIn? My personal opinion is that should you choose to create a LinkedIn profile then adjust your settings so that you are visible to everyone.
- No profile picture – first impressions count and excluding a photo can cause your profile to be overlooked by recruiters or hiring managers.
- Limited or no work history – your LinkedIn profile should be compared to your CV, therefore providing a limited career history with non-specific details or responsibilities will not attract recruiters or hiring managers to your profile.
- Dull ‘Headline’ – The majority of LinkedIn users will include their job title and the name of the company they work for. Create a strong, keyword headline which will identify you as the expert within your industry.
- Using the standard URL – Many users on LinkedIn are unaware that you can customise your Public Profile URL. By doing this you can enhance your personal brand and visibility making it easier for people to locate you. Direct others to your profile by including your customised URL within the content of your CV and within your email signature.
- Missing ‘Summary’ – Would you be able to build a rapport with someone who refused to speak? Your LinkedIn summary is your opportunity to get noticed and to encourage the reader of your profile to become interested in you. Include your email address and/or mobile number so that you can easily be contacted.
- No recommendations – Without recommendations or endorsements of your work then how would anyone who doesn’t yet know you be encouraged to get in contact with you? Impress the reader of your profile by requesting authentic recommendations of your work from past managers and specifically senior managers.
- Little or no activity – It’s all well a good having a great looking profile however without action then you may as well just hang it up on the wall as you would a picture. Joining groups and taking part in discussions will increase your visibility and sharing content within your updates will enhance your profile.
- Few or no skills – Put yourself in the position of someone who is hiring, what are you looking for? Skills and experience are normally the priority when recruiting and the skills section provides recruiters, hiring managers or potential clients with the facility to search for an individual based on certain skills.
“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then, you have to play better than anyone else.” Albert Einstein