Thursday, May 29, 2008

Build a LinkedIN Profile That You Can be Proud Of!

If you are looking for a job, you should count on employers looking for your LinkedIN profile. It’s becoming a business standard to check people out online before hiring them, whether doing a Google search or looking them up on LinkedIN or Facebook.

Are you searching for a job with a bland or empty LinkedIN profile? What does that say about you? When employers or people you network with Google you, the first entry they find about you will probably be your LinkedIN or Facebook profile (unless you’ve already been heavily published, or have already built an online reputation).

Most LinkedIN profiles are very generalist in nature, and do little to help the job seeker truly stand out. As a job seeker, do you want a profile that looks like thousands of others, or a profile that is totally unique, yet professional?

Then again, you can make your LinkedIN profile work FOR you, by writing a profile designed to help employers find you in searches. What are the steps needed to write a killer LinkedIN profile?

1. Develop a very defined Subject Matter Expertise. LinkedIN doesn’t help generalists nearly as much as Subject Matter Experts. Throw out the idea of branding yourself as a broad generalist…it doesn’t work anymore. See Who Needs Generalists Anymore?
2. Determine the Specific problems where your Subject Matter Expertise can provide the Unique Solution. See Will You Stop Looking for a Job Already?
3. Develop strong bulletpoints of accomplishments, to demonstrate your experience in solving specific problems, to demonstrate you are the Unique Solution. Demonstrate how you have provided employer value – see Do You Create Employer Value?
4. Develop a skills inventory, and match it against what skills you see in demand in the marketplace. This is a great gut check to make sure you are highlighting the skills that are important to employers, not just the skills that make you feel good about yourself.
5. Develop a template resume around your tightly defined Subject Matter Expertise.
6. Use the top 4 bulletpoints from your last or (present) job, 2-3 bulletpoints for relevant jobs with outstanding achievements that add additional proof to your Subject Matter Expertise. Don’t bother with bulletpoints for jobs over 10 years ago (unless it contains subject matter expert proof that you can’t show elsewhere).
7. For jobs over 10 years, just list without explanation. It was 10 years ago - how much about that job is still relevant to an employer today?
8. Develop a highlight line, absolutely no longer than one typed line on a word document. Make it extremely brief, but extremely targeted.
9. Include your education, including graduate degrees. Include any volunteer activities
10. Link relevant sites – samples of your work, your online portfolios, blogs, any groups you moderate. List other online profiles (Facebook, Plaxo, Twitter, Spock, Ecademy, Xing, Jigsaw, Zoominfo, etc.).
11. Get the right recommendations. See LinkedIN Strategies – Recommendations.

Your LinkedIN profile is your first step to Online Reputation Management, and building your personal digital brand. So take a look at your LinkedIN profile. Does it paint you as the unique answer to a very specific problem? Or does it paint you as yet another generalist?

Executives exploring Career Change: For a free 30 minute resume consultation, or career advice for executives, email your resume confidentially to reCareered (, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Staff, Managers, Entrepreneurs, and career changers outside the US: Send your resume to to enroll in a free group teleseminar "Accelerate Your Job Search - tools you can use".

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