We’ve all heard about that friend of a friend of a friend that was offered a job because of their LinkedIn profile, right? Of course we have. It’s one of those common urban myths that we hear every now and then – and it couldn’t possibly be true, right?
Wrong! (Well, sort of.) Just like any other myth, it is based on a kernel of truth. What I’ve decided to do is to blast this myth apart into bite-sized pieces.
LinkedIn is a critical piece of the job search process. True! If you are a CEO, accountant or in sales, LinkedIn is vitally important. According to LinkedIn’s own data, 57% of their total 2013 revenue came from their “talent solutions” products. What does that mean for the job seeker? There are a ton of recruiters and companies that comb through LinkedIn profiles for qualified candidates. The care you take with your profile could really make the difference between getting a call or getting stuck in the HR black hole.
It is okay to use the content from your resume on LinkedIn. False! Do not copy your resume onto LinkedIn and expect it generate results. It won’t work. LinkedIn is social media. Social media for professionals, yes, but it is a piece of social media all the same. This means that the content you use on LinkedIn needs to complement your resume – not be a copy!
I should use 3rd person on my LinkedIn profile, just like I do on my resume. False! Because LinkedIn is (again) social media, treat it that way. It is okay (and even expected) to use “I”, “me” or “my” on your profile.
Here’s an example:
If I walk into a room and immediately introduce myself as, “Accomplished resume writer and LinkedIn profile developer. Specializes in originally crafted documents that truly represent clients. Known for individualized customer service and individual attention.” How weird would that be? Have you ever talked to someone and had them refer to themselves by name? Probably not…and you also wouldn’t hire them, either.
What would happen if I wrote in a more personal tone? “My favorite part of writing a resume is getting to know my clients. It is so much fun to draw out the right information – and then create a document that really highlights accomplishments.”
Both statements say essentially the same thing, but the 2nd one shows a lot more depth. It shows personality and a sense of values. The recruiter who lands on this profile will be more likely to reach out and discuss future opportunities.
The more I write on my profile, the better it will be. False! In the big, wide world of the internet, shorter is usually better. LinkedIn just redesigned their iPad and mobile application and is making a big push away from desktop promotions. What does this mean for us? It means that LinkedIn expects us to shift away from using our laptops and standard computers when we network. Above all, it means that your profile needs to fit on an iPad or mobile screen. Your profile needs to get to the point quickly – because once we have to scroll, chances are you’ve lost your audience.
Back to the original question – I’ve been hired based on my LinkedIn profile! Having a great LinkedIn profile can definitely raise your visibility and get you in front of decision makers. You’ll probably still have to turn in your resume and fill out a job application just because HR may need it for legal purposes, but having that great profile has certainly led some of my clients into earning amazing opportunities. True story.