Recruiting professionals are highly attuned to cues in LinkedIn profiles or resumes that might shed light on a candidate’s potential. Like the oft-ignored resume, it’s easy to ignore updating your online profile until you’re highly active in a job search. Whether you are an active candidate or happily in place, crafting and communicating your career brand can only enhance your options and trajectory while giving you a clear perspective on all you’ve accomplished.
Here are six things hiring managers and recruiters are looking for as they give your profile a few seconds to pique their interest before they move on, how you might tool your profile to get them to linger longer, and then actually reach out.
- Consistent Promotion: Recruiters notice the time between promotions like surfers keep track of the tides. We want to see forward progress both with internal promotions and external career moves. Always include your title changes in your online profiles and resume.
- Solid Tenures: Multiple short tenures are typically a red flag, but there are exceptions to that rule. We are seeing strong performers curating a mix of experiences in their careers with the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Across our core industries of advertising, consulting and start-ups, solid tenures average 3-6 years. Longer tenures (or even never making an employer move) still have merit as long as there is consistent promotion. A variety of employers over a career communicates the ability to adapt to new cultures. What’s critical is understanding and clearly communicating each move you’ve made and succinct, honest answers to the blips and speed bumps you may have encountered along the way.
- Projects or Brands: Highlighting the projects, brands, or teams you have worked with and their importance within the business communicates how leadership views your capabilities.
- Results: Highlight data to show the impact you’ve had on the business. Increased revenue, customer satisfaction/engagement, growth in the size of your team, new and organic growth. You may be hemmed in somewhat by confidentiality, but there are likely a few key bullet points from every position that would bring richer context to your hard work.
- Industry POV: Showing interest and a unique perspective on the trends of the sector demonstrates your ability to put your work in a broader context. A simple start is to reshare your favorite items on LinkedIn, ideally with a few personalizing ideas about how it relates to your work. The Accomplishments section on your profile is an excellent way to highlight any conference speaking engagements and industry awards to your profile.
- Where you want to go: The “About” section on your profile is one of the first places you can craft your personal narrative. Think about your career aspirations and ways to creatively communicate where your ideal (and reasonable) next steps would bring you. Work to keep these goals more big picture; signaling unreasonable expectations can have a negative impact and too much specificity could wall off potential new avenues for your career.
Spending some time contemplating and planning your career future has always been a good idea, but there’s more to that than simply dusting off and updating your old resume every few years. Using LinkedIn to effectively communicate your career past, present and future is time well spent.
If you need help or a fresh perspective, take a call from a recruiter that knows your space or to a colleague who hires often and get their feedback on your profile. Understand how your profile is seen in the talent market and make the changes that will make your profile pop.
For a deeper dive, check out these resources from Harvard. Your career will thank you for it!
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