Career Experts Make Over These Mediocre LinkedIn Profiles

from Fast Company

Meet Sarah Sedo, who according to her LinkedIn profile is a food service manager at The Big Carrot. If you’ve never heard of The Big Carrot and aren’t sure what a food service manager does, Sedo’s profile won’t enlighten you right away–because, as personal branding expert and Fast Companycontributor Kristi A. Dosh points out, “Sarah has allowed LinkedIn to automatically populate it with her current job.”

That’s a common mistake, says Dosh. “The headline, to me, is your chance to showcase your personal brand and really stand out in search results.” Those are two distinct yet related challenges, and they apply to the entire LinkedIn profile, not just the headline field. Unfortunately, many people fall short of both, either opting for generic, bare-bones information or leaving a lot of things blank. You want your profile to do more than just recap your resume: It needs to land in front of recruiters in the first place, then grab their attention once it does.

How do you do that? To find out, Fast Company asked three experts to size up three professionals’ LinkedIn profiles and offer a few pointers. Here’s what they said.

More here.

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3 Comments

  1. I found this article interesting because in the next year I will be looking for a career in the Finance field and I am currently trying to find ways to make my resume and LinkedIn profile stand out. This article caught my eye because even though I have a LinkedIn profile, I know there is many improvements that need to be made for a recruiter to even consider me as a good fit for a potential employee at their company. This article gave me a lot of helpful insight as to what a mediocre LinkedIn profile looks like and what I can change in my profile to present myself better, professionally. The first point made that a personalized headline and summary are key aspects of an exceptional profile was something I agreed with and I immediately noticed that this was something my profile lacked. I wanted to personalize my headline but did not know what to write about myself that would catch someone’s attention. After reading Dosh’s headline “Publicist; Writer; Public Speaker; Corporate attorney turned national sports business analyst,” I strongly agreed with the point that customized headline like that would definitely be worth the click. Because Dosh used this space to promote her strengths and to mention the career that helped her gain them, employers can automatically catch more info about who she is without making a click onto her profile. This article taught me that my profile should state what past positions I’ve held that is going to separate me from others.
    In this article, as the title suggests, has a career expert critique a user’s ordinary profile which helped me spot areas I need to be more specific about when describing myself. For example, the user’s headline “software engineer” was not specific enough to describe what kind of software engineer he is and what his specialty is. In my LinkedIn profile, the headline is “Secretary/Salesperson” at a specific company. I think I should change my title to “Secretary and Salesperson of warehouse equipment and materials and the specific company I work for. Another point I agreed with in this article is that people sometimes forget to add things to their LinkedIn profile that they can’t add to their resume to give a better picture of who they are by showing how their job duties impacted their personal achievements. One more side note made in this article was that sometimes people make their profiles very technical and it negatively impacts the way they present themselves. I myself have seen profiles that are very technical and it takes away from any sense of what the real person is like for example what someone’s passion is and why they got into the field they are in. I might explain that I love my job and because my father has been in this industry my entire life, I gained interest in it at a young age. By doing this, the user is missing a key opportunity to tell their own story and make them uniquely different than everyone else in the job pool. Another quick tip this article gave was that if you’re uncomfortable talking about yourself you could let a former coworker or boss give you a recommendation on your profile to help add credibility to your page. I never thought in depth about these little things on my LinkedIn profile and how they could really impact my chances of getting my dream job.

  2. If you want to succeed in this era, you need to master technology. One of those forms is social media- an extremely powerful and useful tool to do anything. Some use it to show off their weekend, but if you truly want to succeed, you need to learn how to properly implement it in your everyday life. LinkedIn is one of the vital tools and tricks of the industry to get ahead and market yourself.
    One important aspect from this article is to be clear, concise, and descriptive with everything you post, but more importantly on your profile. Personal branding expert Kristi A. Dosh discusses the importance of creating a personalized headline and summary. This is the first thing recruiters and visitors will read, so it has to catch their eye. This is extremely crucial when you apply for a job through LinkedIn, as recruiters are scrolling amongst thousands of applicants. When looking at your page, you have to ask yourself the question- “How am I different and what is going to set me a part from the rest?” This is critical in your social media success; your personal branding is how you are viewed on the online world, and in today’s day, the online world may be the only glimpse of a person.
    Blank spaces in your profile is inexcusable; it basically tells recruiters you are not motivated enough to take the extra step. Some people are not comfortable with this new digital age, but they have to become digitally literate. In a few years when the majority of the workers in society are freelance, how will they get work? The only way is if they personal brand themselves better than the last person.
    One way to stand out is the usage of multimedia. LinkedIn lets users add it, but there are a few that use it to their advantage. Katherine Combes, head of LinkedIn’s talent acquisition division, says that users are likely to receive 21 times more profile views if they have an engaging and clear photo- not to mention including multi-media posts as well. It is important to add hyperlinks, as well as video summaries of your work- attach YouTube videos or record some right there on the spot. This engages users more than simply words. Gary Vaynerchuk exresses this with his daily Snapchat videos and podcasts he uploads to LinkedIn. This brings more traffic to your profile, which brings in more higher percentage of a “yes” than a “no” when looking for a job.

  3. In todays world, technology is more important than ever. It is not like the “old days” where you could just simply fill out an application at the place of employment, most places want their applications done online, and they look up your LinkedIn profiles and other social media websites. This is where personal branding becomes extremely important. Like this article states, there are recruiters who skim through tons of profiles a day, so what makes yours stand out among them? I can say that I personally have not taken advantage of all that LinkedIn has to offer, and I just filled in the bare minimum when it came to my profile. In my opinion, it is important to “spruce up” your profiles, because with life comes change. For example, I had just recently switched jobs, so I need to change my LinkedIn profile to mirror what is actually happening in real time. Having a current, and descriptive profile could be a make or break point when landing your dream job.

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