LinkedIn is in part a sales tool, and if you are a sales professional, it only follows that you need to be selling your skills, strengths results and achievements on LinkedIn, writes Sandie Reed of The CV & Interview Advisors. It is important for building your credibility with potential customers when operating in a sales role, but also a very important tool when job hunting.
LinkedIn is a very competitive environment if you’re job searching; having grown hugely from its early days as a networking platform for connecting business contacts with each other, it is now a valued and recognised tool for recruiters and hiring managers, and it is therefore vitally important that your LinkedIn profile stands out in the crowd.
LinkedIn profiles are written in a more approachable, less formal way than a CV and are best written in the first person, but the overall aim needs to be to enable a recruiter or hiring manager to clearly see what you have achieved and what you would bring to their role.
It is not sufficient to just list your jobs on LinkedIn; your profile needs to support the information that’s on your CV and keywords are vital. Recruiters use keyword search tools to scour LinkedIn for potential candidates and if you haven’t included keywords throughout your profile, there is little chance of recruiters finding you for the role you’re looking for. Make sure you also include any expertise in particular sectors or industries, and clearly demonstrate your achievements and where your particular skills and strengths lie.
Backing up your achievements
Throughout your profile, make sure you back up your key achievements with evidence in terms of actual sales figures, revenue growth or targets exceeded. Recruiters will want to know where your successes have been and the financial levels you are experienced in dealing with – so wherever your successes have been, whether exceeding targets, driving new business sales, or delivering revenue growth, make sure you include the numbers.
If sharing actual sales data from your current role is commercially sensitive, use percentages to back up your successes, for example the percentage of annual growth you delivered year-on-year or how much you exceeded targets by. For previous roles, make sure you have all the relevant information to hand to include in your profile.
You can select up to 50 skills to include in your profile but to give your profile credibility, your skills need to be endorsed by your LinkedIn contacts. Make sure you start regularly asking colleagues and contacts to endorse your skills; you can request any contacts to endorse your skills, but the best ones are people you’ve worked with, or for, as this will show up on your profile.
Similarly request recommendations from your network. These can be less easy to obtain than endorsements but if approached positively and selectively, most people are happy to help by writing a positive recommendation. It always helps to direct the writer to the areas you would like them to focus, and the good thing is you get to read the recommendation before you add it to your profile, giving you the opportunity to ask the writer to make any changes if needed, perhaps to help target the recommendation, which is useful if you have several similar recommendations.
Other areas that can help you stand-out are specific projects you’ve worked on and delivered, your qualifications and training, and any relevant certifications.
Finally, make sure you have a good photo on your profile, ensure it looks professional, preferably just a head-shot on a plain background, wearing something business-like, and smiling!
If you would like to learn the blueprint to writing a high-impact, interview-generating LinkedIn profile that dovetails with your CV, you can register for our upcoming free webinar here:
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