By Tamara Harrison. Published on 28 June 2016
When I started out in recruitment, someone’s CV was their primary marketing tool. But times have changed. Recruiters and employers can now access a huge amount of information simply by typing your name into Google before they even receive your carefully crafted resume.
As an executive search researcher I use LinkedIn in my work every day. Your LinkedIn profile creates the first impression I will get of most people and the same is true of potential employers.
So it’s vital it presents a professional image. Should this go without saying? Perhaps. But it’s easy to miss some of the basics.
Eton Bridge Partners recruits for executive talent and even at this level I am sometimes surprised by the mistakes I find on profiles. So please take a few minutes to review yours against these common do’s and don’ts:
- Do check your profile for spelling mistakes. I have seen many “HR Manger”, “Cheif People Officer”, “HR Proffessional” and even people spelling the name of their own company incorrectly.
- Do include a professional looking photo that represents who you are at work not you on holiday, out on the tiles or at a wedding, where you have cropped the other people out of the picture.
- Do update your profile when you move on or are promoted. Remember to update your previous role so it doesn’t look like you have multiple roles, unless this is the case.
- Do keep your updates professional. Consider what you post and make it relevant to the professional you – rather than the “I can answer this maths question”, “isn’t this hilarious” you. Don’t damage your brand. Save these things for Facebook (and even there, be cautious).
- Do include key words and phrases for your current job and/or the job you aspire to have. It helps researchers like me find you.
- Do tell head-hunters if you don’t want to be contacted. The good ones will respect your wishes.
- Don’t have multiple out of date profiles (this is surprisingly common).
- Don’t think that saying you have a degree from the University of Life is amusing and makes you more placeable. It doesn’t!
- Don’t outline your career in your summary and then repeat yourself below.
Using these points as a quick checklist will help you get the basics right and ensure you’re not being let down by your LinkedIn profile.
When you have more time the following will help take your profile to the next level.
- Do ask customer and colleague for recommendations to enhance your profile and emphasise your capabilities.
- Do include links to blogs and other interesting content, particularly those that you have written.
- Do join groups to make your profile more visible.
- Do share comments on relevant topics. Use this to start conversations and make new connections.
- Do follow companies, organisations and charities you are interested in.
- Don’t forget to make use of all the available space on your profile. Add detail about your roles and your key achievements.
- Do get someone else to read your profile and give their honest opinion.
As they used to say on the adverts, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
So make the most of it.
To discuss, please get in touch with me or the Research team:
The Research Team:
Louise Franklin – Head of Research – Executive Search – Board Practice
Philip Muggeridge – Associate Consultant – Executive Search – Finance
Charlotte Payne – Researcher – Executive Search – Human Resources
Kyle McLaren-Kennedy – Researcher – Finance
Emily Perry – Researcher – Board Practice
Lizzy Caselton – Candidate Manager – Interim Management – Finance
Becky Flisher – Candidate Manager – Business Transformation & Technology Practice