Make the Most of Your LinkedIn Profile

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As you would expect from a global executive search firm, Lindauer is constantly identifying promising new candidates. Our team conducts extensive outreach and networking to build relationships with the best professional leaders in the industry. Although candidates submit resumes that illuminate their qualifications, LinkedIn is a powerful research channel to identify professionals with particular expertise, experience, or a specific program or regional connections requested by clients.

Your profile on LinkedIn, the largest professional social media platform, is as crucial to your success as a well-written resume. Not only does LinkedIn allow you to share your experience and qualifications with its 740 million members in over 200 countries, but it also empowers you to build your network and grow your professional brand.

Here are some simple steps you can take to maximize this powerful tool and make yourself more visible:


PERSONAL INFORMATION

Profile

  • Be findable. Select the “Open Profile” setting, which allows individuals to contact you even if you are not connected.
  • The “Public Profile” setting allows you to control what is visible.
  • Create a custom URL for your profile that is your full name.
  • If you are actively searching for a new position, enable the “open to work” option. You can choose to limit the visibility of this feature to recruiters only (so your boss doesn’t see it!).

Contact information

  • Use your full first name, noting any nickname or alternative surnames.
  • Include an email address where you can be reached directly, even if you create a new email account just for this purpose.
    • Avoid quirky email addresses (e.g., catlover1981@gmail.com).
  • Include your personal professional website.

Intro

  • Photo
    • Use a current, clear, professional-looking headshot.
    • Research shows that profiles with a professional image get 11 times more views than pages without a professional image.
    • Smartphones have great camera features, such as portrait mode, if you don’t have access to a professional photographer.
  • Headline
    • Use your current professional title. When researching, the title stops us long enough to look at other details to see if you are a match for a position. A generic title like “Fundraising Professional” or “Data Expert” does not make you stand out.
  • Country/Region
    • If you live in a small suburb, list the closest metro area. A recruiter may not recognize smaller towns and communities and think you are out of the target geographic range.
    • If you relocate, be sure to update this information. With so many people now working remotely, it is helpful to know where you live versus where your organization is located.
  • About/Summary
    • Lead with the most important information — only a portion of your summary will be visible without hitting “show more.”
    • Create a short summary of your length of time in the profession and any key quantitative detail (e.g., management, campaign, largest gifts raised, publications or awards, or international experience) and results.
    • The format is important. Dense paragraphs can be difficult to read. If you are highlighting areas of expertise, consider using bullet points.
  • Featured (posts/articles/links/media)
    • This is a great place to highlight thought leadership and articles you’ve shared on LinkedIn.


PROFESSIONAL INFORMATION

Experience

  • Add all relevant positions including title, organization, and start and end dates (at least the year).
  • Briefly describe the mission of your organization, especially for groups that may not be instantly recognizable, but put the focus on your skills and qualifications.
  • Note your key responsibilities. Job titles do not tell the full story, and terminology can vary between organizations.
  • Include outcomes and quantitative detail:
    • Staff managed (e.g., “Led a team of 10 with six direct and four indirect reports” instead of “I led a team”).
    • Campaign goals and your role.
    • Largest gift you’ve successfully closed.
  • Avoid vague cliches such as “I’m a team player who enjoys collaborating with others.” Share specifics about how you lead, manage, and work.
  • Add additional description that expands potential job matches. For example, if your work involves regional coverage or travel, be specific about the area.
  • Selectively include other jobs that may demonstrate skills or interest areas beyond your current role.
  • For jobs that ended more than 10 years ago, only list your most impressive accomplishments at the position.
  • Maximize use of key words to help your profile show up in a search. Consider variations on a term (e.g., analysis and analyst or major gift and major gifts).

Education

  • Include your field of study (major). The fact that you were a biology or neuroscience major may be helpful in pairing you with a search in healthcare.
  • Include activities and societies (i.e., musical group, athletic team).
  • Degree dates can be helpful but are not required.

Licenses & Certifications

  • CFRE? ACFRE? CFP? All provide additional clues to interests and experience.


OTHER KEY PROFILE COMPONENTS

Volunteer Experience & Causes

  • Our goal as a search firm is to find the most qualified candidates for our clients. Sometimes volunteer interests can be helpful in identifying the needle in the LinkedIn haystack.
  • Professional memberships, boards, and conference presentations all reflect aspects of your specialty and network.

Skills & Expertise

  • Include those keyword descriptors that reflect what you can do.

Endorsements

  • Include endorsements and recommendations selectively.
  • Publications, honors and awards, and organizations all point to interests and engagement.

Groups & Following

  • List or describe organizations, topics, and individuals that you follow. Again, these can be helpful in identifying that nuanced interest that may be the link to our search.

Languages

  • Include those languages in which you are fluent and can use in your professional life. If your experience is two years of high school Spanish, leave it out. Proficiency matters — especially if you are bilingual.


CLOSING NOTES

Your LinkedIn profile is as important as your resume and is a key tool used by recruiters to find the best candidates for their clients. Make sure to review your profile regularly — particularly if you change jobs or relocate. Typos and missing end dates can be interpreted as a lack of attention to detail. And make sure your titles and dates of employment match your resume. The easier to read and more robust your profile, the more likely we are to connect you with your dream job.

For more resources and career opportunities, be sure to follow our LinkedIn page at www.linkedin.com/company/lindauer. And, finally, we encourage you to connect on LinkedIn with members of our staff. We enjoy celebrating your accomplishments and promotions!

At Lindauer, every resume submitted is individually reviewed by a team member and shared among team members for appropriate matches as well as entered into our database for future opportunities. Submit your resume at https://www.lindauerglobal.com/express-interest.

Written by Lindauer Research and Data Consultant Christine Lockmon.