If you don't already have a LinkedIn profile, you are missing out on new and better opportunities. Then again, if you have a LinkedIn profile and you are missing these crucial details, then you might as well not have a profile at all.
The modern job search has changed so drastically in the last decade that it can be overwhelming to a seasoned professional who has been with the same company for ten or more years. Management professionals need to be visible on LinkedIn. New users don't need to be completely lost when setting up a profile. Start with these six LinkedIn profile tips just for managers.
1. A Professional Headshot
According to LinkedIn's blog, a profile with a photo is 14 times more likely to be viewed than a profile without a photo. More importantly, your LinkedIn profile is a direct reflection of your personal brand. Employers will be looking to put a face to the name, and this is no place for a selfie or a family photo.
Have a friend with a decent camera phone take a picture of you from the shoulders up or invest in professional portraits. Your profile photo should be a 1:1 ratio or square picture that looks approachable and friendly.
2. A Results-oriented Headline
Your Headline will appear beneath your name and next to your profile photo in searches both on LinkedIn and on Google. This is a great place to repurpose your Branding Statement within the 120 character limit, not to simply list your current job title.
It's a common mistake to list "Actively seeking new opportunity" or "Unemployed" when actively looking for a new job. Instead, use this space to promote the value you offer to employers. For example, your Headline can identify your most valuable skills or a proven record of success in delivering a certain result.
3. A Summary That Sells
If you haven't added a Summary to your LinkedIn profile then you are losing out on a great opportunity to tell your unique story. As a management professional, your story will guide readers through your career advancement and accomplishments. It will describe how you have grown as a professional and what your most goals are as a leader.
Your Summary should expand on your Branding Statement, include Career Highlights or your Areas of Expertise, and end with a call-to-action prompting a response from your ideal employer. Your Summary should speak to the needs of your ideal employer and direct the reader how to best contact you.
4. An Eye-catching Experience Section
With the new LinkedIn user interface, your Experience section will only fully expand your most recent experience while condensing the rest of your experience to the company name and job title. This means your most recent work experience needs to make an impact alone or encourage the reader to click on and expand your older experiences.
Similarly to writing your resume, you can improve the readability of your Experience section by alternating between paragraph summaries and bullet lists that highlight your achievements or related skills in action. Rather than just describing your typical tasks, describing how you solved problems across all priorities will be far more effective.
5. A Complete Skills Section
Your Skills section serves two primary purposes: optimizing your profile for keyword searches and providing a space for social proof. Asking your connections to endorse certain skills will show employers that others have witnessed your strengths and support your claim to these skills.
With the new LinkedIn user interface, your profile will display your top three skills before requiring the user to click and see more. Your top three skills should be job-related and make an impact. For example, soft skills or transferable skills should be at the bottom of your list. An Operations Manager should have Operations Management, Process Improvement, and Cost Control listed prior to Problem Solving, Excel, and Communication.
6. A Few Great Recommendations
An even better form of social proof on LinkedIn is a Recommendation. Ask the connections who are familiar with your leadership skills to write a brief Recommendation that you can list on your profile. Recommendations are like Yelp reviews and are more personal than endorsements.
When asking for a Recommendation, consider asking the connection to focus on a certain area of expertise such as training. If all of your Recommendations are broad and say the same thing, they won't make an impact on the recruiters or HR professionals screening your profile.