If you're using LinkedIn like a digital résumé, you're doing it all wrong

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By Austin Belcak, Cultivated Culture

Many companies and recruiters have turned to LinkedIn as their No. 1 source for hiring top talent.
In fact, 87% of recruiters leverage LinkedIn to find high quality candidates.
This is great news for us because it means that, with the right set up, your LinkedIn profile can become a passive lead generator for new opportunities.

However, if your profile looks like everyone else's, your chances of being contacted by a recruiter drop substantially.

On a personal note, optimizing my LinkedIn profile led to interviews with over a dozen companies, along with an eventual 30% bump in salary!

Here are three common mistakes most professionals make when it comes to marketing themselves on LinkedIn.
Your summary doesn't mention your goals

The average LinkedIn profile summary contains lots of buzzwords (team player, driven, curious, innovative, etc.), for example:

Austin Belcak
This is a big mistake.
When recruiters are scanning LinkedIn profiles for potential candidates, they aren't just looking for qualified people. They're also looking for people whose vision aligns with the company and role they are hiring for.

If your profile reads, "driven, goal-oriented marketer with a passion for helping others thrive," it's going to look like 99% of other profiles out there. Instead, you want to use this space for two things:
1. A brief overview of the measurable value you bring to the table
2. A statement about what you're looking for in your career (if you have trouble with this, try asking yourself, "What do I want to do next?")

If you are an account manager in Amazon's Web Services division who is looking to manage people, those two pieces might look like this:
  • Currently managing the strategic book of business for Amazon Web Services, maintaining an average quarterly account growth of 15%.
  • I am working toward a position where I can lead a team and teach others how to effectively manage and grow existing business.

Now, when a recruiter comes across your profile, they will see that you have a track record of exceeding your goals and they know what you are looking to do next. If that matches an open role at their company, you can bet they are going to reach out!
Your profile doesn't include measurable results

I've read and reviewed hundreds of LinkedIn profiles and résumés. 90% of them are all missing the exact same thing: quantitative results.

Here's a snippet from someone's profile who has over eight years of experience in their industry, managed a team of several people, and headed up some of the company's top accounts (I used to work with this person):
  • Responsible for management, strategic leadership and profitability of key client accounts.
  • Worked with clients to define strategies and objectives as a measurement of performance.
  • Provided growth recommendations and identified incremental business opportunities.
  • Oversaw teams of account representatives on tactical routine tasks of account management.
  • Facilitated new account launches and manages contract negotiations and up-sell opportunities.

What does this tell a potential employer?
Absolutely nothing!!

If it weren't for the bullet about overseeing teams, this could literally be an entry level résumé … in hundreds of industries.
Let's look at an example of another job description on LinkedIn that does it right:
Exceeded annual account growth quota by 457% (#1 in my department), responsible for 80% of department-wide upselling in Q4 of 2014.
Spearheaded the creation of an internal group dedicated to SEO, usability, and lead generation. We increased traffic by 30% and conversions by 117% over a three-months period with a limited budget.
Received the company's annual award for upholding core values as well as for the largest sales deal of the year.

Which of those two people would you want to bring in for an interview?

Don't be afraid to showcase your results in your profile  —  recruiters are far more likely to reach out to someone who gives them concrete evidence of high performance.
You're not using the platform as a personal rolodex

Are you sick of applying for jobs online and hoping that your résumé gets picked out of the pile?

If so, you're not alone.

On average, an open role at a well known company gets ~250 résumés. Roughly 75% of these applications came from some sort of online portal. Once submitted, the applications are screened by Applicant Tracking Software that scans them for keywords to find the best matches. At the end of the process, roughly 10 résumés make it into the hands of a recruiter. That's 4%!

What if there was a way you could reach out directly to the person who is on point for filling your dream role?

LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful resource when it comes to skipping the online application process.

Let's say you're applying for an account management role at Google in New York. Searching LinkedIn for "Account Director + Google + New York" will usually bring up the most senior person in the department. Then you can use the steps in this article to find their email address and begin building a relationship.

We live in a world where 85% of jobs are filled via networking. Building genuine relationships with influential people in your industry is the quickest way to accelerate your growth.

If you're only using LinkedIn as a digital résumé placeholder, you're missing out on hundreds of potential opportunities.

Austin Belcak helps people land jobs they love and salaries they deserve at CultivatedCulture.com. Connect with him on Instagram, Medium, and LinkedIn. Sign up for his free Virtual Career Summit here.

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If you're using LinkedIn like a digital résumé, you're doing it all wrong
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