Some call LinkedIn the Facebook of the workplace.
While the platform definitely makes comparisons, employers aren’t looking for it to catch up on your last night out or to play Candy Crush.
They want to know more about you and your professional experience.
Once an employer reaches your profile, there are a few things they will want to know right away.
Your profile must answer these ten questions quickly in order to satisfy employers who do not have a lot of free time.
What’s your current position?
First, employers need to know what you are doing. They need to know how you make a living. Make it clear at the top of your profile, where you can fill out a professional title. This will immediately grab the attention of potential employers.
What job titles are right for you?
Chances are, you’re not a one-trick pony. Your areas of expertise extend beyond your college major or your current workplace. Maybe you are a software developer who also manages the public relations area of ââyour company. You could be a lawyer who owns a construction business.
When you meet someone new, you are talking about your career. What would you say to this new person? This is the job title that suits you. If all else fails, you can list a few titles that would work well for you in your summary.
What makes you credible?
There’s one major place employers turn to when they wonder how credible you are: your work experience. Fill it to the best of your ability. Indicate where you worked, cite any titles you held, and provide a consistent list of your responsibilities.
A new trend for this section is to quantify your responsibilities. Don’t just say “write the code” or “house sold”. Improve your credibility by showing the numbers: for example, you might have “written X lines of code for Y number of applications” or “sold X houses in quarter Y”. These numeric values ââwill instantly stand out from the rest of your profile.
Your recommendations are another place employers look for credibility – we’ll talk about that later.
How do you write well?
One thing that will be immediately obvious to employers is your writing skills. To be successful in this world, excellent writing skills are essential.
Using noticeable misspellings, repeated sentences, SMS language, and slang will result in an instant ‘no’. You will never hear about the job of your dreams if your profile is poorly written.
What is your personal brand?
Job hunting is all about marketing yourself. Think about the ads you see on TV – they make the products look attractive and flawless.
Personal branding is like an advertisement for you, and like most advertisements, a brand statement is usually the determining factor. In this statement, you must state what separates you from others. Create a slogan that targets your ideal employer.
Other things that can help you market yourself are logos and stylistic continuity.
Do you know your field?
Brag about your skills as much as you want, but employers will know when you have no idea. It will show in your work.
Businesses and organizations want someone who is both comfortable and confident enough in their field to talk about it clearly and concisely on their profile. Your target employer should know exactly what you are talking about. Nothing should be ambiguous!
Here is a good example. His profile clearly expresses his role as president of his own real estate agency and shows what he has done to rise through the ranks to this position. His articles on the latest industry news develop him as a thought leader in the field – something that is essential if you want to grab the attention of a recruiter.
Demonstrate your industry knowledge in the posts you share, the updates you make, the companies you follow and the media you add.
What is your greatest professional achievement?
You have started your own business. You have won the award for the best employee. You have helped a company through a difficult year. Whatever it is, you accomplished something great and it made you feel on top of the world. Why not let a potential employer share some of this great feeling?
When you clearly articulate your greatest career achievement, it sends the message to employers that you are successful and that you can overcome adversity to achieve excellence. It looks like a model employee.
What is your experience with certain tools?
So you are a graphic designer: Great!
The employer scrolls the page to see which programs you know aboutâ¦ and finds nothing. There is no proof that you are a Photoshop wizard. Discouraged, the employer moves on to the next candidate profile, hoping for better results.
Your profile should include every tool, every program, and every system you know. It only improves your chances.
Even if you only know something at a basic level, include it. Make sure to include metrics for each skill – novice, intermediate, and advanced are easy labels to start with.
What do others have to say about you?
Employers will eat recommendations and quotes from former bosses, co-workers, and even friends. They can’t ask about you unless they want to hire you, so the second best thing is to see other people’s opinions.
If you don’t have any recommendations, it’s easy to ask around. Reach out to people you trust, especially in your professional environment, and ask them what they value most about you. Ask what you bring to the table daily. Ask what sets you apart from others. They will be happy to inform you.
What do you care about the most?
Believe it or not, LinkedIn is an emotional investment. You need to convey your passions through words and pictures to someone who has never met you before.
It is certainly difficult and time consuming to make your profile attractive. As a hardworking professional, writing about your career can flow more smoothly as you progress through your profile. If you care about your job in real life, chances are it will show up on LinkedIn.
Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and digital marketer. She is also the founder of Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to sharing tips on navigating the world of work. Follow her for more great advice @SarahLandrum.