This is probably the most important determination to make. If you have no idea who your audience is, what position you’re seeking, or what industry you’d like to thrive in, the readers of your profile won’t know either. You need to be specific to reach your targeted audience. For example, if you’re an engineer, it’s not enough to simply state that. Hiring managers, recruiters, and potential clients will wonder – what kind of engineer? Civil, mechanical, software, biomedical? The list goes on and on. As you can see, just about everything is a specialty these days. You need to let your intended audience know exactly who you are and what you can do. Need help? We have written an article on how to rewrite LinkedIn profile for beginners.
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One of the best ways to capture a recruiter or anyone’s attention is with a visual. In this case, it would be your headshot. Although the video shows a profile with a casual photo, I caution against that, unless you’re in a field that’s laid back and everyone wears sweats or jeans to work. If you’re in a conservative industry, such as banking or finance, you should wear appropriate clothing in your photo. That’s not to say you need to have on a suit and tie; however, an embellished tee with the logo of your favorite rap song isn’t the way to go.
The title you use in your profile is also important. If you’re a CFP (Certified Financial Planner), you should put that designation in the title and use other keywords from your profession so that you’ll be found more easily in an Internet search. The video shows a profile for a CPA/Tax Accountant and begins with the words “fun-loving”. I’d caution against that too. It sends the wrong message to recruiters. Accountants aren’t supposed to have fun, especially with your money. Reading that would make me very cautious. Again, use language that’s appropriate to your profession. If you organize lavish birthday parties for children, ‘fun-loving’ seems right.
Recruiters want to see what you can do and how you’ve achieved it. This is the place to list your most recent/relevant/quantified accomplishments as they pertain to your targeted audience. Nothing superfluous here. Remember, there are character limits for each field. What’s more, you don’t want to waste any of this valuable real estate with words that can’t be searched. Even if you’re proud of being a choir director at your church, unless that’s the next position you’re seeking, leave it out.
Again, use keywords as much as you can, you’ll get more hits from recruiters that way. Be certain that you state the results of what you’ve done, rather than list them as tasks. When you’re in a profession where thousands of others do similar work, the only thing that will set you apart will be what you’ve achieved on the job. That basically means, how much money you’ve saved your company or how much money you’ve made it.
This is where you’ll get endorsements from colleagues and clients, so consider your expertise and skills very carefully. Don’t list everything. Narrow it down to the core of your abilities that your targeted audience or recruiters will be searching for.
Just as it takes time to build a business, client list, or career, it will take time to perfect and optimize your LinkedIn profile for recruiters. However, your ROI in terms of time spent will be well worth it when the endorsements and invites to interview start pouring in.