Five Cold Hard Truths About Your LinkedIn Profile

Whether you like LinkedIn or find it pointless, it doesn’t matter. Your profile is the first impression, the first look, and the first handshake. And it does matter to hiring managers. Without a stellar LinkedIn Profile, you’ll find yourself missing some of the best sales opportunities available on the job market today. It’s a major mistake to overlook the importance of your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn Profiles for Sales Professionals on the Job Market

1.   Your photo matters. Make sure you post a good headshot. It’s remarkable how many people choose to ignore the importance of the profile photo. If your picture looks like it belongs on Facebook, it won’t be doing you any favors.  Don’t want to include your photo? Hiring managers wonder what you’re hiding. They won’t be curious about you, they’ll just move on to the next applicant. Simple photo rules for LinkedIn success: professional, current, appropriate, mandatory.
 

2.   Third person is for bios. If you cut and paste your professional biography and use it for your LinkedIn profile it’s obvious. Third person is for bios, not LinkedIn. This gives the impression you are one of the following: clueless, lazy, strange, unfamiliar with social media, or pretentious.  Write your profile with an appropriate amount of formality, in a friendly tone, and remember to use key words. Do not write your profile in the third person. i.e. John Anderson is a Channel Partner Manager with 10 years of experience….John was awarded top Chairman’s Club …Mr. Anderson majored in …..
 

3.   Get the facts right. Your resume and LinkedIn profile should state the same employment, dates, and position titles. If your profile claims you worked for Oracle from 2005-2006 and the resume documents 2005-2008 you will be helping the other applicant get the job. Pay attention to the fundamental details and get them right on the profile and the resume.  If you don’t have a college degree, even if you’re one credit short, don’t award yourself one.
 

4.   More Connections More Connected. Don’t have less than 500 connections. This means you aren’t using LinkedIn to network, prospect, find opportunities or generate business in any way. Never a good sign for a sales professional at any level. Make sure LinkedIn is a part of your job search or you’ll be missing some of the best sales opportunities on the market.
 

5.  Contact info. Why would you hide your contact information when you’re looking for a job? Make it available, double check the information for accuracy, and state your preferences, i.e. best way to reach me is XXX. Make it easy for people to reach out to you and you’ll find it happening more and more. 

One of the most important parts of landing a new job is consideration for the position. If you can’t get consideration, you’ll be going on fewer interviews.  Why cheat yourself? You don’t have to like LinkedIn; you just have to use it well. The better you present yourself, the more opportunities you’ll have when it comes time to make the move from your current employer.