Okay, lets be honest, the quality of your LinkedIn profile is pretty subjective. Some people like to provide broad brush strokes, others go into detail. Some write in the first person, others in the third – although in my (subjective) opinion that’s just a teeny bit creepy and states out loud that you may not have written your bio yourself, or perhaps you haven’t really stepped into your own authority i.e. “owning that shit”. The upper rungs of The Ambition Revolution program help women to step up, speak out and take charge. Writing in the first person, owning your own opinions and taking responsibility for your expertise is an important component.
Your LinkedIn profile is an increasingly powerful tool in your career advancement tool kit for both professionals and entrepreneurs. Back in 2011 industry pundits were predicting that in just 10 years you wouldn’t be asked to send in our CV anymore when applying for work – but instead relying on online tools such as LinkedIn.
And while there are some valid arguments about lack of privacy, personalisation and ownership – I’m pretty sure that agile and progressive online platforms will work their way around those sorts of issues in the future, perhaps providing degrees of privacy that enable you to upload more sensitive data and send that more private link when applying for work.
In terms of personalisation and colour – if you use a recruiter then any personalisation is all stripped out anyway whether you like it or not. Plus with moves in the diversity space for recruitment processes to eliminate our natural human propensity for unconscious bias (and that wonderful blind audition orchestra case study used as leverage) I suspect this concern is old school thinking as we move to level out the playing field anyway.
So here are three signs your profile is working against you, not for you, and a bunch of tips to get you thinking about how to amend.
1. Somehow, randomly, a recruiter finds you the good old fashioned way i.e. personal referral – and in the course of their conversation with you says,
“based on your profile you’re obviously not in the market for a job”(!!)
WHOOPS! Even if you’re not actively looking for work, LinkedIn is a perfect positioning tool you can leverage to enhance your credibility within your current organisation. If done right your profile has the power to position you as an expert and gain you industry credibility - almost instantly.
2. You invite people you know to connect and they “ignore” your invitation – even when you send a 2nd and 3rd reminder. Okay so that might be a bit of a dramatic interpretation – but if your profile is scaring people off, then you need to do something about it. I’ve written previously about the 6 Signs That you need to Take your Personal LinkedIn Strategy Far More Seriously – well the same principles apply here. Get a professional headshot done, update your profile with your expertise, get recommendations, gain endorsements and get connected. Too few connections might feel safe and secure to you, but in this hyper connected world it spells “loser” and you didn’t even know it.
3. You appear on page 2 of the LinkedIn search results amongst your connections – even when it’s your area of expertise!
Yet the irony is, if your profile is actively working against you, it might be better if you feature on page 2 or 3 of the LinkedIn rankings. The principle of that old Google joke applies in LinkedIn. If, when you do a LinkedIn search for the key things that you are good and you don’t appear anywhere near the top, you definitely need to take a moment to reflect. Are you trying to bury yourself on page 2? Or are you ready to “shine” and be listed on page 1? If it’s the latter, simply do some SEO work on your profile and you can remedy that in a few minutes.
So if you are reading this article and feeling at all uncomfortable about any of the points listed, its time to get busy. A LinkedIn facelift might be time consuming but it’s definitely worth it in the long run. A good profile can put you in the running of career opportunities that you might not find yourself and get you positioned as an expert in your field - all with minimal outlay by you.
Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution
— If you missed it - 6 signs you need to take your LinkedIn profile more seriously
I am the creator of The Ambition Revolution – the science and art of amping smart and savvy.
I mentor ambitious professionals to ensure they remain strategic, agile and focused on the bigger game.
I also work with organisations who are trying to increase the profile of women in leadership, but struggling to do so.