If you haven’t noticed by now, we spend a lot of time on LinkedIn. We’ve shared plenty of posts and articles about what to do (and not do) with your profile here at the ol’ blog. So instead of opening up another article about how to make your LinkedIn profile look pretty, we’re going to talk strategy! We all know having an amazing LinkedIn Profile is IMPERATIVE if you want to land more interviews…so let’s get down to the good stuff:
What You MUST Include in Your LinkedIn Profile: Paul Haarman
1. How many people have viewed/contacted you through LinkedIn
This is one that I wish I would have known when I first started out with my own profile. It would have saved me a bunch of time and frustration. How many times do we go back to update our LinkedIn profile, and then forget to look at the box that says how many people have viewed and/or contacted you through your profile? If it’s never, then I’d say there’s a huge opportunity for you. It’s really important because it gives you an idea of who has visited your profile – friends/connections, recruiters or employers. Knowing this information will give you an idea of what part of your profile they’re interested in…which leads us to the next point…
2. Your most viewed/contacted qualifications
Once again, another warning about going back into your settings. If you do not regularly check these two boxes (Views and Contacted) on your LinkedIn profile, you will not have a good idea of what part of your profile is being viewed/contacted. Once again this is important information because it gives you an idea of who views your profile as well as what they’re interested in.
3. How many companies you’ve worked for
Okay, so maybe this one doesn’t sound that exciting… but I promise it’s more exciting than you think! Remember those first few jobs we had? They were great and ours didn’t suck either, except for the fact that we got fired from each one – or quit – or both. But let’s be honest: our experience at those first jobs was invaluable to landing bigger and better gigs later on. That’s why we’re going to include it in our LinkedIn profile. It’s also important to note that the reason recruiters and employers will look at your employment history is that there are some trends they can spot:
A job that was listed as a “summer position” often indicates you were employed during school breaks (which might indicate you don’t have consistent work) However, if you held this same type of summer position for multiple years without missing any time between jobs, then there might be potential red flag raised about whether or not this was your first “real job.” If you’re switching industries — e.g., from Marketing to Sales — then it might be important for you to explain why here on your LinkedIn profile.
4. How many recommendations do you have?
We spend a lot of time with our LinkedIn profiles, but how many of us actually spend some time on the recommendations section? This is another one I wish I knew more about when I started out. When recruiters and employers are looking at your profile, this is another important thing they’re going to look for. If you have no recommendations, then there might be a red flag raised about why that’s so. Also, if you have TOO MANY, it could raise a question mark over whether or not any of them are real or if they were all coerced by people who just want something from you. We’re going to recommend that the number should range between 3-5…and are going to tell why in a minute.
5. What your headline/description should say:
When recruiters and employers look at your profile, one of the first things they’ll do is to see if there’s a “Headline” part in front of what you’ve written for your summary. If it isn’t there, they’re going to assume that this was an oversight…or worse that you didn’t know about this feature at all. We are also going to recommend adding some keywords here in order to make sure people can find you when they search for candidates with specific qualifications or experience.
6. How to find and use your LinkedIn URL
Your LinkedIn profile is the most important part of your job search and hiring process, which is why we’re going to talk about how to make sure you get the most attention from people who are looking for employees like you. The ONLY way anyone can check out your profile (meaning: read all of it) is if they know exactly where to look for it – this means knowing your LinkedIn URL. You might expect that everybody knows what it is by now, but unfortunately that’s not always the case – even if they’re already on LinkedIn. Going back into Settings won’t help here; instead, we recommend creating a logo (image) and making this image linkable and visible where possible.
7. What keywords should I use?
Do you know how many searches are performed on LinkedIn every day? If not, we’re going to tell you: over 13 million — and that are just in the United States! That number will probably sound even more impressive once you realize that it represents SEARCHES…and not actual visits. The point is there are a lot of people looking for candidates online, which means it’s really important to make sure you include keywords that describe your qualifications, experience, education, or interests.
LinkedIn is a big giant place for recruiters to find talent. The new way to get hired is through LinkedIn. It’s the best landing page/portal which connects people who are looking for talent with those providing their skills and expertise to employers, says Paul Haarman. We need LinkedIn in our lives!