Many Successful Professionals use LinkedIn as a B2B or B2C selling tool.  They use it to grow their personal/professional brand.  They use it to push out content that is created through videos and articles.  LinkedIn is coming out with a “Live Feed” as well that is currently in the beta testing phase.  There are many ways to using this valuable tool to grow your brand, income or employment.  Overall, the idea is to grow your level of engagement in the virtual community to leverage your business.

Before you take on any of the above opportunities, first, you must build a kick ass Profile.  There are 11 key sections that you should ultimately set up.  However, there are 5 primary sections to focus first.  These 5 sections are critical to building a Profile that will attract other recruiters and employers.  Companies are using more technology and artificial intelligence software tools to view resumes.  This can turn into the proverbial “black hole” of job seeking if it’s your sole avenue for applying to open opportunities.  The role a Recruiter can play in your job search is becoming more critical than ever.  Over 90+% of Recruiters use LinkedIn as a primary source to recruit talent.

  1. Profile Picture: there are some key fundamentals with this simple yet important section
  • The picture needs to be Professional
  • Head and Shoulders should make up 80% of the frame
  • Picture should be taken indoors, with a neutral back drop and well lit

Profiles that have pictures are 14 times more likely to get viewed than Profiles that do not have pictures.  Try and avoid any pictures that you took with a friend or a significant other and have cropped them out of the photo.  A common theme I hear is “well, I liked my hair or clothes in that picture”.  It doesn’t matter, if it’s not Professional, avoid using the picture.

  1. Professional Headline: This should catch a Recruiter’s eye
  • Power Words – these words should grab the attention of the reader
  • Use KEY WORDS that are searchable
  • Use EMOTICONS ➡️🏆✅💥
    • Entirely acceptable but don’t go overboard.
  • Catchy Titles: Rockstar Realtor – Rockstar Recruiter – Savy Salesperson
  • COPY other good Profiles

Keep the Headline short and sweet.  You will want to do some KEY WORD searches to identify what is relevant to the role you are seeking.  Identify key influencers in your industry or role that you admire, view their Profile for ideas.  Google Key Words is another way to see what is popular.  Emoticons are visibly catchy, and I like the use of them but only in moderation.  Catchy Titles work for some people.  It’s not my style but others use, and it works for them.  It’s your Profile.  Own it.

  1. Professional Summary: this area is where you discuss you
  • What motivates you?
  • What are your Passions?
  • Discuss your current role
  • Mirror it with your resume
  • Use #hashtags – Recruiters use hashtags to search for candidates

Your Professional Summary should mirror your resume to a certain degree.  More importantly, this is where I like to include your passions and what motivates you.  For example, I list Coaching Professionals, Speaking, Leading and being a Football Coach as areas of passion for me.  I also use hashtags like #talentmanagement, #talenspotlight and #qworksgroup that speak to areas of focus for our Team and my Company’s name.  Talent Management is what Q Works Group does.  Talent Spotlight is how we market our top talent.

  1. Experience: this is the “resume” on your Profile
    • Make sure that this portion of your Profile highlights previous and current roles and to include some “KEY WORDS” that fit your current role and the next role that you seek
    • I am a fan of numbers and metrics being displayed here. Make it easy for someone reading your Profile to “scan” to see key performance metrics
    • If you are a recent COLLEGE GRADUATE or soon to be – this is where you can push your EDUCATION section to the top of your Profile if you do not have relevant work experience or internships

The Experience section gives you plenty of space and opportunity to HIGHLIGHT your current employment activities.  If there are tasks that you do on a day to day basis that is more than what your current role requires, make sure you add this to this section.  This gives you a story to discuss a promotion or taking on a more Senior role.

  1. Recommendations: section of special recognition from other Professionals
    • Peers, Subordinates, Previous Boss, Professor, Pastor or Coach to highlight what it is like working with you and they type of person you are
    • It can be a Professional reference or somewhere that you volunteered

While this section could take some time to build and never officially be completed. It is one of the sections that should always be a focus and maintained.  The best way to get an endorsement or recommendation is to offer one of someone else.  In many cases, they will feel obligated to return the favor.  Additionally, if you go above and beyond on a task and someone says “please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help support you” this would be a great opportunity to ask for a LinkedIn Recommendation.  This is a section that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND to constantly be an area of focus even if you are not seeking your next opportunity.  There is never a better time to take care of getting a recommendation than when you don’t need one.  Don’t wait until you desperately seek one and then you become a beggar.  No one likes begging.

***BONUS AREA – Dashboard:  is only visible to you but important to understand how it works

  • Go to “Career Interests” and make sure this feature is turned on
  • Current employer section needs to be active and correct – this is how LinkedIn helps to avoid anyone from your current or affiliated companies from viewing this section on your Profile
  • Only Recruiters that pay for the Recruiter Premium can view this
    • The tool is expensive and highly unlikely used by the average employee
  • This feature has been active for a few years now and I am not aware of anyone getting “busted” by this feature

The Dashboard is a critical portion of your Profile if you seek to take calls from prospective employers or other recruiters make sure this function is “toggled” active.  While it is not an “active section” of your Profile, it is a very important section if seeking new opportunities.  Most Recruiters will use this as a search criterion when seeking candidates.

                Finally, building your Profile is critical because it starts to tell a story.  I advise my clients to use “Storytelling” within job interviews to convey trust and relatability.  Stories increase oxytocin levels in the listener which helps to mirror a positive experience.  However, the story must be built within a specific and digestible framework.  Otherwise, it will just drag on and have a counter effect to your desired outcome.  Your LinkedIn Profile should be no different.  Use the framework and tips above to build it.  Your story should start to lend itself to your area of authority and build credibility with your audience.  As an example, please review my Profile for any ideas or examples.  There are several key influencers on LinkedIn that you can use.  Seek one that is in your Industry.

Written By: Michael Clegg, The Q Works Group

https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-b-clegg/