Since I’ve been so busy serving my clients (thank you!), I feel it’s time to bring you up to date a bit. At this point, it’s common knowledge that employment competition is fierce. To compete in this “battle,” you need more than a wonderful resume and a compelling cover letter. Yup, LinkedIn profiles are a must.
Just a few years ago, LinkedIn reported it had 90 million users and was growing at the rate of one new user per second. Think about that — LinkedIn is reportedly growing its users each and every second of each and every day. That’s awesome . . . and it’s overwhelming. Those of you who have been actively networking using your LinkedIn profiles – good for you! But I have to ask: Is your LinkedIn profile good enough for you?
Unfortunately, frequently missing from your LinkedIn profile is your voice, your personality, and your career plan. You need to create a compelling story within your LinkedIn profile. Otherwise, you may be wasting your time. So let’s get started with some basic LinkedIn tips:
- ‘I’ makes the profile more personal. People want to connect with people, personalities, and passion.
- Know thyself. Determine your professional brand and express it in 120 characters or less.
- Create a headline that describes yourself as unique and valuable.
- Think about and document your unique qualities and the things you do best.
Now it’s time for the secret to my success. Before I write a single word on your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile, I work with you to create a career development / advancement plan. I indentify the stages of your career and I help YOU DISCOVER YOU. Only then can I highlight your triumphs. (Hence, you will always get an email from me following the booking of your in-person appointment or telephone interview that tells you I will be looking for the challenges you have faced in the workplace, the actions you took to meet those challenges, and the results of those actions.) Then, I align your career accomplishments with those that are relevant to your career. I concentrate on creating documents that “wow” prospective employers.
Let’s do a for instance. A retiring police lieutenant recently provided me with the following list of accomplishments he thought should be included in his resume:
- Coordinate activities by scheduling work assignments, setting priorities, directing work of subordinate employees.
- Liaison with local and federal government agencies.
- Promote an environment encouraging the cooperation of others, using my knowledge of personnel and resource management techniques.
I turned what he wrote into the following:
- Directed and monitored the activities of an average of 200 police officers, depending on the shift, supervising daily division-wide operations. Led investigations and solved assorted crimes, among them hotel crimes, credit card thefts, and assaults stemming from NYC criminal activities.
- Coordinated activities, scheduled work assignments, set priorities, and directed employees and inter-agency stakeholders in implementing investigations. Liaised with Ocean County Prosecutors Office and the FBI.
- Strengthened alliances with outside agencies. Promoted an environment encouraging inter-agency cooperation and collaboration.
Although my client’s statements generally touched upon some relevant keywords that belonged in his resume, I honestly didn’t think a recruiter or prospective employer would be impressed with his version of events. On the other hand, I think my version begins to tell his story, on its way to potentially wowing prospective employers.
Once your resume and cover letter are in good shape, your LinkedIn profile is fairly easy to craft. This truism brings me to my next anecdote. I recently received two emails from the same person who wanted me to write her LinkedIn profile. When I reviewed her resume, however, I said “no thank you” to the LinkedIn profile writing project. I explained to this client (twice) that having a strong LinkedIn profile and a fairly useless resume is a complete waste of time. I suggested a resume rewrite, but this individual, I gather, wasn’t interested in hiring me to write her resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile, which is by the way the only way I write a LinkedIn profile. But I digress . . .
Your LinkedIn profile must attract prospective employers’ attention, engage them in your story, and compel them to read further – all in 2000 characters or less. To accomplish this, you can “steal” from your resume, connecting what you’ve done in the past with what you want to do in the future. Add your personality, your passion, and your plan into your message. Describe your relevant achievements and demonstrate your potential value to the prospective employer.
If this sound tricky or you simply don’t have the time or energy, don’t fret. I’m only a phone call, an email, or a LinkedIn visit away.