It’s pretty ridiculous to me that we’re never taught how to write a LinkedIn profile or any other critical survival skills in high school. I mean, can someone please explain to me why I had to dissect a frog, but no one taught me how to look for a job? Why did I learn quadratic equations instead of how to do taxes?
It makes no sense.
Then, there’s no standard search. I mean, there are rules, but even then – there are always exceptions to even the most basic principles in the world of work. Subsequently, if you go out and look for any job-hunting advice, you are sold a million ideas that the author never actually tried. We buy it because we don’t know any better. We’re wandering blindly here. Any help will help.
One of those tips is always “update your LinkedIn profile.” Then, they ramble off some keyword optimization scheme that sounds more like you’re buying a sham-wow than getting hired.
Here’s the catch. While machines do a little reading, you’re trying to keep a human’s interest. That overly professional, keyword loaded optimization isn’t going to do it.
Keeping their interest isn’t about optimizing; it’s about telling a story.
Writing A LinkedIn Profile For People, Not Machines
But we’re all making the same story mistakes. Over the last few weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time rewriting LinkedIn profiles for everyone from C-Suite executives to customer service representatives to Refugee Counselors. It’s been wild.
What’s surprising (in addition to their incredible stories) is this. They’re all making the same mistakes. Mistakes I want to help you avoid whether you do a 1-1 Live LinkedIn Rewrite with me or take it on yourself.
- Headshot. Don’t break the rules. See Rules Here.
- Optimize your headline for the job you want. Just put the job title, nothing else. Recruiters don’t search for “now seeking a customer service opportunity.” If that’s your headline, they won’t find you when they search “customer service representative.”
- Write About Us paragraphs that connect the dots instead of regurgitating your experiences. Tell them how your early experience informed what you want today. Do not add that keyword list. Please.
- Add a call to action. What’s the point of your LinkedIn profile? Are you looking for a job? Are you networking? Say so. Then, provide the next step. If you want them to email, add an email. Want a text? Say, “Text me. (123) 456-7890.” I usually say something like this: If we’ve worked together before and you’re looking for X, Y, or Z, call me.
Remember, a human is going to read this. Don’t go unnoticed because your story was written for machines, not people.
And yes, I’ll do it for you in a 1-hour session. See what it was like for my friend Meg. Book a session here.
Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.
Katrina has written for Monster.com, HR.com, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.