Dr. Dawn Graham is a business expert. She is the Career Director of the Wharton MBA Program for Executives and SiriusXM Host of “Career Talk.” She has years of experience in the business world and works with people in all aspects of their careers. You can pick up her new book, Switchers: How Smart Professionals Change Careers and Seize Success, on Amazon.
She shares her tips for how to make yourself stand out on LinkedIn:
Headline: While it’s okay to use your current job title (this is the default), this is one place on LinkedIn where you can communicate your unique brand front and center; Consider what Recruiters might search for in terms of key words.
Public URL: If you haven’t set up your Public URL (instead of the random letters/numbers LinkedIn assigns when opening an account), click to learn how. https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/87/customizing-your-public-profile-url?lang=en
Summary: This is another great place to brand yourself. While you can cut and paste your Resume Profile, on LinkedIn it’s to your benefit to make this section more personal and inviting by using the first person (e.g., “I”) and including things like accomplishments, quotes, full sentences, rich media, etc. Keep it brief and targeted.
Experience: This section should be a teaser, not a dissertation. Include key points about your experience/impact for each role (1 – 2 bullets), but not everything you did in a given role. Use key words and achievements targeted to your audience.
Activity Broadcasts: When making updates to your Profile, it’s worth turning off the broadcasts. Click this link to learn how: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/61030/visibility-of-your-updates-posts-and-activity?lang=en Note: this feature does not turn off changes to your photo, groups that you join, or new connections that you make.
Photo: A great headshot ups profile views. Consider your audience and determine if yours needs updating. The best photos are friendly, open & professional (but not stuffy). Ensure your photo is VISIBLE to others (not just you/your network) in the settings.
External Links: These increase your “searchability” for those who use Google as a primary search tool (e.g., many recruiters). In the Contact info section, include Links to your company website (be sure to update this if you’ve changed companies), a personal website, Twitter account, professional blog, etc.
Recommendations: Optimize your “searchability” by getting at least 3 Recommendations (different from Endorsements). Ask former colleagues, clients, classmates, professors and others who are familiar with your work.
Groups: Get involved in groups that align with your brand/target. This is a great way to keep up-to-date, make new connections, and even learn about new job opportunities, conferences and other industry-specific events.
Company/School Links: Use the suggested name of your company or school when adding these to your Profile – you’ll know it’s correct if the logo/icon appears and is hyper-linked to the company/school page (some small or non-US based orgs may not have a page, but this is getting rarer). This enables you to see who else in your network is also linked to these institutions.
Avoid overused buzzwords like “results-oriented” or “team player”, which don’t differentiate you. Check out http://www.careerealism.com/phrases-linkedin-profile/.
Premium Membership: While basic LinkedIn (free) is sufficient for most, recent changes limit the # of searches you can do. Also, Premium accounts rank higher in searches, so it’s worth buying a subscription for a few months if you’re in an active search.
o2nd Level Contacts: Get your 1st level contacts up to increase your 2nd level contacts, which is where the action is! Also, note that Profiles with fewer than 500 contacts may be taken less seriously.
Dates: Remove college graduation dates and work history prior to 15 – 20 years. No need to give away your age.
Check out Dr. Dawn Graham’s website, https://www.drdawnoncareers.com/ for even more career advice.