Are you an experienced professional frustrated with the lack of attention you are getting on LinkedIn?
Here is a 30-minute make-over (in the form of two quick hacks and a bonus tip) you can use to make sure your profile is fresh and getting you in front of the Recruiters on LinkedIn.
As an online career coach and career advisor I am often consulted by experienced professionals who feel invisible on LinkedIn. They see the jobs they want advertised, apply and are ignored and are rarely contacted, if at all, for the jobs they seek. As someone who promotes working toward your life’s purpose I tend to focus on the big picture rather than tips and techniques – as a recruiter myself I understand how frustrating it can be to feel invisible out there. So when I can provide a quick way to get seen I am happy to share it.
In most cases this has more to do with tactical issues than it does with their expectations or skills. Make no mistake, it gets harder to find choice jobs as we climb the ladder and that is why I coach mid-career and higher level leaders to develop and improve their professional brand. That takes more than a blog post and 30 minutes! Here is a good way to get started down that path, get your next interview, improve your professional outlook, or pursue your life’s work.
Profile Visibility is Key
Linkedin visibility is essential for your success in getting calls from Recruiters. Even when your application is being viewed by Recruiters many will prefer to view you on LinkedIn and many of the modern applicant tracking systems offer this as an option. LinkedIn (should) provides a compact view of your career, some interests, and makes a difference. 90% of recruiters use LI to find candidates or screen them.
Your LinkedIn profile headline and most recent job titles are weighted heavily in the way you will show up in recruiters searches and how often you are contacted. Recruiters are most likely to begin their search with specific job titles, when yours matches in both your job title and your headline (and experience) you will appear higher in results.
Here is a quick way to get your profile found. Follow the steps below to ensure you have visibility.
Your Headline is Your Billboard
Your LinkedIn headline is the most searched section on the platform. If you look under your name, LinkedIn by default lists your current job title and company, that is your headline. You can and should change this. The headline has a limit of 120 characters, so you need to utilize this space as effectively as possible.
Think about the terms that recruiters are using to identify candidates for the role you are seeking. Your headline is like a billboard to the search algorithm so be sure to insert the words or phrases that emphasize the jobs you want and describe the position you have. Here is an example of how it would work for me, your mileage may vary but you should get the idea.
Here is the Headline LI created for me:
Head of Talent Acquisition – this was my job title when I wrote this. It is what you would see on my email signature line. It is not making me more visible to recruiters who are looking for someone to lead TA for a large global organization. (I am not looking for a job and happy with my LI visibility so I have no reason to make changes today.)
Here is a headline I could use if I was looking for a larger role or interested in moving to a larger company:
Global Talent Leader | Leadership Team Talent Acquisition | Global Head of Talent Operations | Global Recruiting Leader
Here is a headline I could add if I was looking for a similar role in a larger company:
Senior Director Talent Acquisition | Global Talent Operations Lead | Talent Acquisition Leader
As you can see there is flexibility in this approach – I did not test these and recommend you take the time to search yourself on the titles you are considering to see what kind of profiles show up. As you develop your headline, use a few keywords and then act like a recruiter, go run a few searches for the jobs you want and see who comes up and what their headline looks like. Test, experiment, and keep evolving your online presence until you feel like you have done what you can here and then move on. (Be your own career coach, it is worth the time and much cheaper!)
Notice the vertical line symbol: |. That symbol tells the search engines to keep those words together. So, when you select your keywords for your headline, always separate them using the vertical line symbol.
Your headline will attract recruiters, change it and make improvements.
Your Work Experience is Your Canvas
A LinkedIn profile does not include everything in your resume nor should your resume include everything in your profile. Make sure you balance your profile experience in such a way that it highlights (and includes the keywords you want to be known for) the results you delivered your career and add accomplishments that speak to your target roles.
Paint a picture of the professional you are with your words, your accomplishments, and even the layout of the profile. Your current job and the one before it are the most important to recruiters. Take the most time and capture the most detail for your current role. Again, this is not your resume, it is your profile so work back from today and reduce information for preceding roles if they are less applicable or look dated. (Example: if your used to be a recruiter and are now a career coach looking for your next role as a career coach you may want to diminish the detail of your earlier roles so your current responsibilities and accomplishments are the focus.)
If you have a long history, you don’t need to include every position you have held. Instead, you can mention the job title, company, and dates of employment for older positions.
Your Job Title is not Your Company Title
The title your company uses is based on the way the job families are set up and has to do more with where you are that with where you are going. I may have been the Global Head of Talent Acquisition and Operations, but my title was Head of Talent Acquisition. Why this matters is that “Head of” roles are ambiguous and can often cause you to show up in searches below the level you are targeting. Create a title that is accurate to your impact, truthful, and represents what you do to recruiters.
As you write your description avoid the temptation to past in your job description or leave the area blank. You goal here is to increase your visibility by describing what you do and who you do it with. This is also where you can simply state in a clear sentence where you fit in your current organization: As the global head of talent acquisition I report to the Chief People Officer and manage our global team of… This allows for clarification and helps recruiters see what level you are working at and with whom.
I recommend that the areas you focus on next and the order you use correlate to the objectives and requirements you see in the job descriptions advertising the roles you are targeting. If they are taking the time to share their criteria and you meet those criteria you have this area as your canvas to paint yourself as you choose. Use the experience you have gained in your job, the projects you worked or managed, and highlight where you invested your time. (Hint: if you are not a match for the jobs you seek this is what a career coach will tell you to work on to get there: get involved or lead projects to get experience, invest your own time in areas that add value to your company at the same time, and stretch your experience.)
Use the same job description review to look for accomplishments that will resonate with your future employer and highlight the results you have achieved that will be important to a recruiter or hiring manager reviewing your profile. If they are looking for “hands on” highlight areas where you did it alone, if they want a “people leader” make sure you highlight how you developed your team. You get the idea: work back from the job you aspire to and paint the picture of yourself in that role today.
Bonus tip: Your LI profile is not your CV so you can leave out early jobs that may make you look old or, even worse, “over-qualified” for the jobs you are targeting. Take a look at the roles for which you are applying and how many years of experience that they list. Remove the jobs at the beginning of your career that take you over that experience level if you can – in most cases the experience you gained in them will be considered outdated if you have over 15 years of experience anyway. Go back no more than ten to fifteen years your last 5 – 10 years markets you for the next role.
Focus on your last two roles, ensure they are well written and clearly show you are a fit fit for the role you are targeting and have the same keywords that you see in the jobs you are targeting. Never lie or inflate, just ensure that you are using the same lingo you are seeing in your ideal jobs.
If this is too technical for you or you feel like you would benefit from an expert in this taking an in-depth look at your online brand please reach out. You do not have to do this alone and we have many online career coaching packages to choose from.