LinkedIn: Be Focused

Posted by | October 27, 2012 | Social Media, Tips For Job Seekers

Sure, you take the time to tailor your resume for every position you apply to but what about your LinkedIn profile? You can’t possibly be expected to change your LinkedIn profile for every job you apply to, can you?

Don’t worry…of course not.

However, you do want to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is tailored to the kinds of jobs and industries you are targeting. You still want to present your information and use language that your target market is going to appreciate. My LinkedIn profile is going to be vastly different from that of a Mechanical Engineer. Why? Generally because people who work in my field are very touchy-feely, left brained and quite talkative. Mechanical Engineers are much more to the point and want fast facts. Of course I am stereotyping here but still; my point is valid. If your LinkedIn profile doesn’t speak to potential employers in the field you want to work in, it’s pretty much just as useless as a resume that isn’t tailored to the job specifications.

Here’s a few suggestions:

 

1) Focus your Profile Page

Make it clear what kind of work you do and/or what you are looking for. The field that appears under your name – you know the one, where you simply wrote a simple job title? That little space is your opportunity to better define what you can do. Some people go the extra mile and create something that could be like a jingle, but your best bet is to create a problem solving title. For example, a Co-op Coordinator could simply state just that, or a creative title could be “Ensuring maximum success of students through work term consultations.” You see the difference?

Of course, we can’t all be that snazzy. The thing to keep in mind when creating your statement is that you don’t want to pigeonhole yourself. If you state that you are a Marketing Coordinator and you are applying for positions that branch out of this role, you need to make it evident from the get-go that you can do more than just be a Marketing Coordinator. Do not let let your title on LinkedIn be the reason a potential employer chooses to bypass you.

2) Utilize the Summary Section

Many people bypass the summary section and skip right down into their experiences. However, the summary section is a fantastic place for you to explain a little more about what you do, what your goals are and what accomplishments you have made. You get to explain yourself. You don’t have to write out a whole story, just enough to share the pertinent info and hook the reader. Just like a resume, your LinkedIn profile is going to get a quick glance – sum up your experiences and goals in one shot.

3) Define your Experiences

This is debatable however, I am a firm believer that each work experience needs some kind of description, whether you choose to describe your overall role, what you did at the company, or a few select accomplishments. A little info here goes a long way since you want to give the reader a little something to grab onto.

A vague LinkedIn profile to a prospective employer is just as frustrating as a vague status update on Facebook – it leaves you a little annoyed and curious, but not curious enough to ask what the heck your Facebook friend is talking about.

Melissa Macfarlane is a Career Development Professional with Northern Lights Canada.

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