What Does Your LinkedIn Profile Say About You in Six Seconds?
By: Dolores Sauter
We all know that the “job hunt” process can be an emotional roller coaster. Although online job application has made openings within your favorite company more accessible, it’s also muddied the waters. Companies are inundated with applicants, many of whom aren’t even close to being qualified. So, out of necessity and repetition, do you know how long most recruiters spend reviewing your resume?
That’s it. In six seconds, they determine if you will move onto the next step.
Applying for jobs via LinkedIn is, I believe, one of the better modes of online application. But, you’re still working against the clock. So, I am going to share some insight with you. This is the first thing we see when you apply for a job:
Although I’ve never timed myself, I’d be willing to bet that in about three seconds, I can decide if I’m going to click on an applicant’s profile. The first things I look for are industry, location and keywords. I may look at college, but in this view, I cannot see what your degree is, so it’s secondary to me. If an individual has “keywords” listed (as you can see, I do not) I will likely read through those, but if I do not see a single word related to my search, it’s onto the next applicant.
Think about that for a second. Industry, location, keywords. Three seconds.
- Do your current and (most recent) past titles tell the appropriate story?
- Does your headline enhance someone’s understanding of who you are? Or have you wasted valuable space?
- Would adding keywords about what you really do help a recruiter decide to click on your profile in three seconds?
- Do you know where/how to add keywords? (It’s the “Summary” section of your profile and it looks like it captures about the first 80-90 characters, or about 12-15 words.)
- Consider this, does your picture reflect the “you” that employers in your industry would gravitate towards?
- In a split second, when a hiring authority looks up your name, just based on your photo – do they want you to represent them with clients?
My colleague, Denise, applied to one of my jobs so that I could share her snapshot with you, too.
Now, Denise’s application includes a lot more information than mine (a lot more than most, to be fair), but then we run into a new problem. See the blue word “…more” right above Education? You could have every job you’ve held since high school listed on your profile (except, don’t… don’t do that), yet only your last 2 or 3 titles will show. So, if you worked at the Gap for 6 months while you were in-between jobs – you’ll likely want to leave that off your profile.
Are you completely terrified now? Don’t be. Knowledge is power and now you know more than most.
Think of the career you want and adjust your profile accordingly. Find trusted allies – i.e. an industry specialized recruiter who listens to you. Not only can they give you access to the hidden job market, but they are your sounding board. We can give you feedback on LinkedIn profiles and resumes in addition to interview prep and, if the recruiter is worth their salt, you should always have someone to turn for updates. Get off the roller coaster and take charge of your career.