Use LinkedIn to discover meaningful work and make new connections in the new year.
ReWork’s search team has spent thousands of hours combing LinkedIn profiles — we use it every day as a search tool to assess candidates’ experience, competencies, creativity, and personality.
As a recruiter who connects top talent with meaningful work, I’ve seen the power of the LinkedIn profile. This is the online place to showcase your unique personal brand and attract like-minded recruiters, peers, and industry connections.
In short: a well-crafted LinkedIn profile can help your dream job find you.
And lot of people aren’t taking advantage.
Which means you have a chance to stand out and be emergent. I’ve outlined 8 steps for improving your LinkedIn profile — follow these, and you’ll join the top 10% of LinkedIn, and potentially increase your connections 10x.
- Change your settings so people don’t get alerted every time you update your profile. Here’s how.
- Know your audience. Who are you trying to reach? Who is the audience you are trying to attract? Recruiters in a new industry? Professional contacts in your current industry? What will your audience will be looking for?
- Prepare some “keywords” — buzzwords or jargon used by industry insiders. This can describe your job title, skills, certifications, or descriptions of your work. (Example: Process Design, Financial Analysis, Data Analytics, Six Sigma.) Often times someone is quickly viewing your photo and headline – demand their attention using keywords!
2. MAKE A CUSTOM URL FOR YOUR PUBLIC PROFILE
- Don’t hide behind an obscure profile URL like this: http://linkedin.com/pub/firstname-lastname435564-hjfjrigjhot
- Do shorten your profile URL to your first and last name if possible (Ex: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurenbatcheck). Here’s a tutorial.
This makes you easier to find and allows for continuity across social media. Quick Tip: You could also include this link in your email signature to drive attention.
3. MAKE YOUR “HEADLINE” COMPELLING
This is an important opportunity to make yourself memorable. Don’t squander it! It doesn’t have to be your current job title.
At the core, LinkedIn is just another search engine. Make your headline memorable but also easily searchable using words related to your field.
Example: “Lauren Batcheck: I believe in empowerment to create positive social change” or “Lauren Batcheck: Recruiting Detective. Curious Matchmaker. Problem Solver.”
4. INCLUDE A PROFILE PICTURE
Your photograph is a visual representation of who you are to the world. While professional-looking headshots are great, be sure that your photo is also approachable. Use a high quality photo, but don’t be afraid to let it reflect your whole self.
5. SHARE YOUR VALUES IN YOUR “SUMMARY”
The summary on your LinkedIn profile is gold. This is your space to differentiate yourself, paint the picture of who you are in the world, and describe the legacy you are creating.
- Write it in first person. For example: I am a maniacal evil genius NOT Lauren Batcheck is a maniacal evil genius.
- Express your values and how those are a part of your life and work. People want to know what motivates you and how that inspires the work you do.
- Near the end of the summary, we encourage you to list your specialties, something interesting that you’re working on, and/or unique facts about yourself.
Here’s the last portion of my summary:
• I love adrenaline, adventure, and exploration, and would jump out of airplanes everyday if I could.
• You’ll find Jack Kerouac, Daniel Quinn, and Susan Cain on my bookshelf.
Something Weird That Makes Me Happy:
Garlic stuffed green olives, wasabi peas, and shooting cans with my Red Ryder BB Gun.
Favorite ReWork Value:
A Whole Self – A priority on people as complete selves – not just your work self, but your whole self – including the messy stuff and the polished stuff, even when it’s uncomfortable. All of that is accepted at ReWork.
Here’s a different example, from ReWork Search Director Logan Pugh:
“My life’s purpose is to build greater educational and economic opportunity for all. Growing up in Appalachia, it motivates everything I do. That’s why I began my career in public service and it’s why I now help social enterprises reach their potential. Though each has its own “What” challenges; we all share the same “Who” challenges.
So far, at ReWork, we hacked hiring and professional development. Next we’re inventing new ways to create, build, and lead purpose economy organizations. Reach out to me at email@example.com to talk about your hiring, career, or talent challenges.”
6. SHARE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN “YOUR EXPERIENCE”
For each place of work listed, write a short description or mission statement. For example:
“ReWork exists to put the world’s top talent to work on society’s most pressing social, cultural, and environmental issues. We provide best-in-class recruiting services for nonprofits, social enterprises, and purpose-driven companies, helping them find the people they need to achieve their world-changing missions. And in doing so, we help professionals find meaningful work.”
This section is not for you to simply cut and paste your resume. Keep this section of your profile easy for readers to scan quickly.
- Be concise.
- Try to use words in this section to paint a revealing portrait of the skills and talents you possess.
- Focus on sharing accomplishments rather than listing role duties.
- Use Laszlo Block’s “XYZ” formula for resume-writing: Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z]
Here are some examples from my profile:
- Personally responsible for dozens of successfully placed talented people in mid, senior, and executive level roles by using my network resourcefulness, detective savvy, and creativity to identify and facilitate excellent connections.
- Provide thought leadership, guidance, and superb client management to organizations, companies, and high profile individuals.
- Drive the company culture and organizational alignment – ensuring that we are living out our values in everything we do.
And from a few from Logan’s profile history:
- We grew investment with small business by ten perfect. We grew minority- and women-owned business investment by almost 30 percent — the largest level in state history.
- We led the modernization of Virginia’s electoral system to stop military disenfranchisement and ensure the vote for all.
- We applied lessons from behavioral economics to our plan design to lower costs in our $1B health insurance fund.
LinkedIn also allows you to bring your descriptions to life with images, videos, recommendations, and other compelling extras. Feel free to include these but be conscious of overwhelming your viewers with too much.
7. INVITE PEOPLE TO CONTACT YOU
Include a way for people to contact you, whether that is inviting them to send you a LinkedIn message or an email through a listed address. Read more about LinkedIn’s privacy settings and their “Open Profile” feature here and here — this will help you understand who can send and receive messages.
8. SEE HOW YOUR NEW PROFILE CHANGES YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE!
Following these guidelines will land you in the top 10% of LinkedIn profiles and could potentially increase your LinkedIn contacts 10x.
(After completing these steps, nutrition therapist and startup co-founder Andrea Rossi [Boulder, Colorado] increased her contacts 8x and received multiple job opportunity inquiries within the first two weeks.)
Want to be in the top 1%? Snag some recommendations and list your Certifications, Publications, Volunteer Experience, etc.
A final note…
Don’t wait until you have it absolutely perfect! Take these suggestions, incorporate the ones relevant to you, and see what attention you draw.
Ready for the next step? Create a 5-minute ReWork profile to get personalized job alerts from companies working on social, environmental, and cultural innovation.