The social media service LinkedIn (LI) serves multiple purposes for many people. There are some who use it for searching for a new job, some for professional networking, some for staying current with technical trends, etc. I think it’s safe to say that most people are not passive about how they use this service. Simply put, they use LI as a business intelligence platform. On a daily basis, users take LI’s collected data and convert it into useful information
I am a member of a big data and analytics technical recruiting team. On any given workday we review hundreds of LI profiles. We’ve seen a lot of good ones and also we’ve seen a lot of bad ones. So the question is what do these noticeable profiles look like? Let’s take a closer look.
In 2017, the latest count from LI is that there are about 467 million user profiles. This is an impressive number but for many users, this is an intimidating number, especially if that person wants to stand out and be noticed. You might be saying to yourself that since you’ve completed your LI profile, you’re done. Right? …Wrong!Setting yourself apart from the ocean of competing profiles is not easy, nor will it automatically be done for you. If you’ve ever wondered why companies with new job opportunities might not be contacting you, the chances are there’s a problem with your LI profile. Here are just a few “do’s and don’ts” that might help you while putting your profile together.
Add a Professional Headshot Photo To Your Profile
The expression holds true “You only have one chance to make a first impression.” Also, it’s important to remember that LinkedIn profiles with professional looking headshots get 14 times more profile views and is 36 times more likely to receive a LinkedIn message. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on professional headshots. Just remember that this is the public’s first impression of you as a professional, so make your photo look professional.
Don’t Overlook The Skills Section
I have seen too many people that don’t take look this section seriously. This section is especially important when it comes to looking for a new job. I recommend that all LI users consider the following when completing this section:
Think about the type of a professional are you? (Hadoop Admin., Developer, Architect, Manager, Analyst, Team Lead, etc.)
What professional focus are you looking to convey? (IT Strategy, Business Intelligence, Data Science, Leadership, etc.)
Now, list those specific skills and technologies in this section or, at a minimum, somewhere in your professional narrative.
Remove the nebulous adjectives and technologies that are common among almost all technologists. (e.g. Team Player, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, etc.) When you include these types of “eye-roller” skills, it shows that you’re struggling to put something in there. Think about it...how many technologists do you know that don’t know how to use Microsoft Word? Kudos to you, Microsoft!
Knowledge is "Gud"
Nothing will disqualify your professional profile faster than having misspellings, and/or the poor use of grammar. I am not a college English major, but I can still clearly articulate my professional experience by using well-constructed sentences. If you need help in this area, there are many free applications (e.g. Grammarly) that can help.
It’s very important to know that most (if not all) hiring companies will use LI at some point during their search. When they find errors with spelling and/or grammar in a person’s profile, it is perceived as a negative. In many cases, they considered these errors careless work and it’s just a demonstration of the quality of work that one can expect from this person. Your LI profile (as well as your resume) needs to be as close to perfect as possible.
More than ever before, companies look for discrepancies when they consider candidates. They will do this by comparing the content and employment dates of a candidate's LI profile with what is stated on their resume. While it may be a simple oversight by the candidate, it can also be viewed as misleading and possibly deceptive behavior. Either way, it will almost certainly raise a cautionary flag.
Some Final Thoughts:
Make sure your LI profile stands-out for the right reasons.
Update your LI profile and resume regularly.
Make sure that you list all of the relevant technologies related to your professional life.
Words Are Important
The fastest way to be discovered is to pay close attention to the words you use. Recruiters and hiring companies search for qualified people on LI. They do this by using “keyword” searches and Boolean logic. You might be the most qualified “Hadoop Developer” on the planet for a newly listed job, but if your LI profile doesn’t mention the word “Hadoop” or if you misspell the word of a critical skill that qualifies you for the job…you're virtually invisible.