Everyone is on LinkedIn, but not everyone is getting the most out of it. Here are some ways you can maximize views of your LinkedIn profile.
Traditional job boards are facing extinction, with social and interactive networking sites like LinkedIn growing rapidly. Recruiters, headhunters, and employers are increasingly turning to LinkedIn to scout new talent.
It’s important to make sure, then, that your LinkedIn profile is compelling and well-written. But where should you, as a career-savvy accounting and finance professional, start? The following are four surefire tips to strengthen your profile and help you stand out.
Write for your desired audience
Like any other kind of writing you might do as an accountant, e.g., penning a thank you note, you need to be mindful of your intended audience, and to craft the tone and content of your writing on LinkedIn accordingly. If you’re looking for a job, or you’re at least open to the possibility of finding one, use language that communicates your job-seeking interest and targets recruiters and prospective employers.
Use clear, straightforward, and action-oriented language throughout your LinkedIn profile. Highlight your strengths, skills, past accomplishments, and current projects that are especially relevant to the field – or specific position – that you’d like to transition into. Treat your profile like a cover letter: mention that you’re passionate about X (as relevant to the sort of job you want), and are excited to learn even more about that particular area.
If you simply want to use your LinkedIn profile to connect with interesting professionals in your field, write it in a way that sells yourself less, but conveys excitement about networking, participating in discussion groups, meet-ups, and professional development events. If and when your needs change, i.e., you suddenly need a job (in preparation for which you ought to have been building rapport with your recruiter), tweak your profile accordingly.
…you need to be mindful of your intended audience, and to craft the tone and content of your writing on LinkedIn accordingly.
Tell an engaging story
No matter what you do, don’t skimp on the summary section of your LinkedIn profile. With so many people competing for the same types of jobs and networking opportunities, your summary is an opportunity to draw readers in and let your unique personality shine.
Rather than simply listing your work experience, lure the reader in – and sell yourself – by constructing an informal narrative about who you are and what you do best. Forget what you may have learned in high school English: use the first-person voice, and to write in a manner that’s conversational, fun, and lively. If you’re stuck for inspiration, check out some examples of engaging summaries.
List achievements, not tasks
One mistake people often make both on their resumes (especially if these are in functional as opposed to chronological format) and LinkedIn profiles is to rattle off all of the different tasks and responsibilities they performed in their former jobs, without highlighting the actual results they delivered – the positive outcomes and changes they’ve brought about at their previous companies. Clarify the ways in which you’ve added to your employer’s organizational operations or the occasions on which you’ve stepped up to initiate constructive developments.
Many employers and recruiters find themselves combing through the same old inventories of skills again and again. What they’re ultimately looking for – and what will help make your LinkedIn profile stand out – is an account not of your skills, but of your successes. If you can explain specifically how you’ve contributed to your company’s bottom line, you’ll already be ahead of the field.
With so many people competing for the same types of jobs and networking opportunities, your summary is an opportunity to draw readers in and let your unique personality shine.
Make your profile visually appealing
Don’t simply dump an undifferentiated mass of textual information onto your profile page. Make your page easier on the eyes by breaking up text with subheadings and bolded titles, and avoid being too wordy or using too much jargon, as these will deter readers. And take advantage of the way LinkedIn allows you to incorporate different kinds of multimedia into your profile. For example, include photos and logos to make your page visually interesting. Add links to videos, white papers, or other documents that show what you – or your company – are all about.
LinkedIn isn’t going anywhere, and if you ignore it, neither will you. Whether you’re currently employed but open to new opportunities, or actively looking for a new job, take the time to write a dynamic and interesting profile that will help you stand out from crowd.
How’s your LinkedIn profile looking these days? Do you have any tips on how to spice up your presence on the professional networking site? Leave us a comment below!
Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) and connect with us on Facebook for more great tips and advice!