You’re probably thinking, “What’s the big deal? Creating a LinkedIn profile shouldn’t be this hard?!” You’re absolutely correct. You are spending way too much time creating and re-creating your profile and not enough time planning it.
Invoke the 5 Ps of a winning LinkedIn profile:
Planning involves thorough research, and organization prior to the actual act of creating and eventually posting your profile online. If you treat planning as a regular step in the development process of your profile, you will get more out of your efforts, alleviate frustration, and increases the chances of LinkedIn helping you find a Job.
Use these seven questions as a guide to planning out your initial profile to ensure originality, creativity, and quality!
7 Planning Questions for Your LinkedIn Profile
Grab a notepad or tablet and answer the following questions before you set out to create your LinkedIn profile.
- Which employer or organizations are you targeting? Research and define the organizations or employers that you would like to work for, right down to their missions and visions.
- What do they want? A comprehensive research should provide you with an idea of your target employers’ pain points. Match the list of problems or objectives with the solutions that your skills, experience and expertise would provide. If you begin seeing trends among varied employers, categorize them accordingly.
- Why? Pick your top notch area of expertise from the list above and fully describe why the employer would want it (for instance, what ultimate benefit does it achieve for them? What pressing problem does it solve?).
- What in your “Headline,” the information right under your name, will best grab the attention of your target organization’s recruiter? In less than 100 words, draft a few phrases that define you. Consider a tone and words that will resonate well with the hiring manager or recruiter. This headline may not be the final one you post, but it will be your guiding vision as you polish your profile.
- What have been your main accomplishments in past and present positions? In a maximum of 300 words, draft a compelling story detailing your achievements over the years in quantifiable terms. This should form the “summary” section of your profile. Use keywords and phrases that are found in job posts that you would most probably search for. You can also use LinkedIn’s “skills” link to find other keyword ideas relevant for your profile.
- Which jobs will you include in your profile? Consider how far back in your career you would like to go when documenting your work experience. Profile both your present and past jobs including volunteer work.
- What do you want your profile reader to do? Consider what the number one objective you would like to achieve with your LinkedIn profile is and what unique skill or expertise you bring to the table. If, for instance, you just got laid off or your contract ended and you are in search of another opportunity, succinctly make it known so with a headline like, “seasoned digital finance expert looking for opportunities.”
Have all of your answers? You’re now ready to create and post a polished LinkedIn profile that will help you achieve your goal!