As a LinkedIn profile writer, I am aware that many people don’t understand the value of LinkedIn. They believe a copy and paste of their new resume content will suffice as profile content. Whilst this can be a good place to start, it’s not ideal. We always recommend taking the time to work out what you want out of LinkedIn and then optimising your profile to achieve that.
The goal of your resume is to get you an interview – you’re usually responding to a job that has been advertised and there is context in terms of your suitability for the role, past experience and relevant skills. LinkedIn is a bit different in that you could be discovered by someone as suitable for a role that you weren’t actually looking for.
The important thing to remember about LinkedIn is that recruiters and other senior decision makers regularly use LinkedIn to seek out suitable candidates for positions they need to fill. There are more than 1000 corporate customers in Australia paying to market and advertise to LinkedIn members and using LinkedIn’s Talent Services’ products which include:
- LinkedIn Recruiter to enable recruiters to search the membership base in a targeted way;
- LinkedIn Jobs to allow companies to post job ads and automatically target the most relevant candidates using LinkedIn’s matching algorithms and profile data;
- LinkedIn Careers pages which are created by member companies and tailored to showcase their employer brand and culture and ensure the right audience sees it. In addition, “Work With Us”, lets companies advertise on their employees’ profile pages to reinforce the brand with connections – using space that would otherwise carry a generic advertisement.
Your LinkedIn content should be different to your Resume and customised to maximise the opportunity to market you as a potential employee. Here’s a few tips on what’s different to get you started.
1. Tone – LinkedIn is a form of social media, so whilst it should always remain professional, you certainly can (and we recommend you do) inject a little more of your personality. The most important area to do that is in the Summary – this is where you can showcase your success, while creating your value and appealing to the recruiter. Make sure it’s warm and conversational – not too formal or stuffy. Depending on your professional background, you may want to inject a strong sense of your personality or not – that’s up to you but make sure you show your value and what makes you stand out as an ideal candidate.
2. Content – a Resume is a factual, more formal document whereas LinkedIn is more personable and should always be written in the first person. The content is more general since it needs to cater for a broader audience whereas resumes are usually tailored for a specific role or job application.
3. Ease of Reading – LinkedIn profiles need to be ‘web friendly’ – similar to website content, so short paragraphs and concise bullet points should be used – including the Headline (to separate each job title), Summary and Experience sections.
4. SEO – LinkedIn is an online tool and as such is subject to search engine optimisation (SEO). For those not in the know, SEO helps search tools ‘find’ you. If you’re using LinkedIn as a tool for people (whether that be employers, customers or recruiters) to find you, your profile should be optimised for search tools. Select the words you think recruiters will be looking for and use them wisely. Using up all the character limits in various sections may also help boost your profile SEO.
5. Value Add – one of the great things about LinkedIn is the ability to share your successes. By adding links in various sections you can draw people’s attention to different areas you’ve worked or successes you’ve had. You could include links to videos, presentations, publications, articles etc. and interact with others to have conversations. Ask questions, answer questions. Use it to engage your network and you will see the value flow.
If you are planning on using LinkedIn as a job search tool, you need to optimise your profile to ensure the best chance of success. Make sure you stand out from other candidates by highlighting your successes and the value you will bring to an organisation. Inject some personality, engage with the community, build your connections, and ensure your profile is keyword dense for SEO.
If you would like assistance from a LinkedIn Profile Writer to help you build a professional, keyword optimised profile that highlights your strengths and achievements and sets you apart from your competitors, please see our LinkedIn Profile Writing Services.