This month I spoke at the Australian Marketing Institute’s Breakfast on the topic of “The Rise and Rise of Personal Brand” with Craig Sneesby, perhaps Brisbane’s best known Executive Recruiter at U&U Recruitment and Kerryn Fewster, best known in C-Suite circles for her Executive Coaching expertise with Change 2020. I also recently received notification that I have one of the top 1% of Linkedin profiles viewed. We all shared some valuable insights that I thought I would share with you along with some tips for your Linkedin profile:
1. Your first impression is often now a Google Search result. Craig Sneesby explained a concept called “Talent Mapping” to the AMI group this week. Talent mapping is a term used to describe the research that recruiters do to identify key people in roles that could be potential successors for roles they have identified that could have turnover in the near future. The way it works is that they will identify the role, undertake a search using the keywords based on your skill set and then create a list of people to have on hand. This reduces the cost of advertising and the need to lose time on shortlisting hundreds of applicants for roles. From there, a Google search is also undertaken to find your Facebook page and Twitter account to get context on you. If your personal life isn’t congruent with the image you’re portraying in your professional life then you may be removed from the list as you are considered a risk to the organisation.
2. Your Personal Brand/Linkedin Profile is congruent with who you are: Kerryn told the story of an executive she was about to begin a meeting with. The person said “Before we start I’d like to tell you a bit about my personal brand”. This gave the impression that it was something that he took off and put on each day and wasn’t authentic. So, the first rule here is to be real but also engaging. Your Linkedin profile is not about what you have done but what you want to be doing and inspiring the person reading your profile to engage with you. You do this through emotive language and keywords. So for example in my profile I used to have “I help professionals and executives make better decisions in effectiveness, leading people or with their personal career direction” which tells you what I do but it’s not very exciting. I got feedback from my colleagues that my strongest skill is inspiring people, so I changed the word “help” to “inspire” and “better” to “great”. So it now says ”I inspire professionals and executives make great decisions in effectiveness, leading people or with their personal career direction”.
3. Don’t think you’re overdoing it: In my experience, 99.9% of Linkedin profiles are relatively boring and tell me you make widgets. I have also had someone say to me that people oversell themselves on Linkedin. I am personally yet to find one that has oversold themselves. It’s not natural for us to sell ourselves and write something inspiring that captures the hearts and minds of readers. This is different to lying on your profile. If you say on your profile you have completed a Bachelor of Engineering and you completed the first year, then this is outright lying, not overselling yourself. In Australia, Linkedin is currently like the google of 1999. It is easy to beat your competitors on your keyword search and to be found. Remember the purpose of Linkedin is to be found, your resume gets you the interview and the interview and referee checks get you the job. To make your Linkedin profile a marketing document as opposed to a list of everything you have done:
- Have a photo that makes you easy to recognise. This is a professional page so your face should take up the frame make sure you have clothing on and we can see your eyes (no sunglasses).
- Ensure your profile is pumped full of keywords in all areas of your profile. The person with the most keywords wins. The top 5 areas targeted in the Linkedin profile are Title, Summary, Employment History, Endorsements, Recommendations. Use up your entire characters.
- Ensure your update is a value add at all times. To do this I suggest removing the need to see your activity feed. This is a complete waste and adds no value to your feed. Make sure your feed is full of articles, comments and sharing.
- If you’re unemployed don’t put “unemployed” as your title as a recruiter isn’t going to be typing in “unemployed” in the search. Make sure it says something like “Human Resources Manager, available for opportunities”. This is also the same if you have “Director” or “Owner” as your title. Tell us what you do in the title, make sure it relates to what the skillset you have that a recruiter will be looking for.
4. Take advantage of new features: Linkedin has removed some key features, but some new features have been added. These include moving your categories around (with the exception of Summary and Recommendations) and your endorsements, so these are what you want people knowing you have the skills in. For example, somehow “Microsoft Excel” was in my endorsements and for some reason 3 people seemed to think it was a skill I have. I certainly don’t want to be falling into search results for Microsoft Excel! Eeek! Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you need to have it so remove any endorsements you don’t want.
5. Connect, Connect, Connect! Those who are looking for you will only find you if you are a 1st, 2nd or a 3rd level connection so make sure you connect with as many people as possible who are as closely connected to those who are most likely to be looking for you. These are others in your industry, recruiters, even people like me! I deliberately connect with recruiters so my clients fall into their search results. Is your Career Coach doing this for you?
If you would like to discuss your career contact us for a Career Counselling session where we can discuss your career options, resume update , interview skills training or your Linkedin profile. Jane Anderson is one of the most highly qualified Career Pratcitioners globally. She is a Master Career Director and Professional Certified Coach based in Brisbane Australia and works with clients from all over the world over the phone, on Skype and face to face. She speaks at the Reinvent your Career Expo and has been featured as the ‘Job Whisperer’ on today tonight, Brisbane Business News, CLEO magazine and news.com.au. Contact us today.