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Many companies and recruiters have turned to LinkedIn as their
No. 1 source for hiring top talent.
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
The average LinkedIn profile summary contains lots of buzzwords
(team player, driven, curious, innovative, etc.), for example:
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:
- A brief overview of the measurable value you bring to the
- 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
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!
2. Your profile doesn’t include measurable
I’ve read and reviewed hundreds of LinkedIn profiles and résumés.
90% of them are all missing the exact same thing: quantitative
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
- 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?
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
- 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
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.
3. You’re not using the platform as a personal
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
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
and LinkedIn. Sign up for his free Virtual Career