As my LinkedIn rant continues from my last blog down the rest of the profile, what is really clear to me is that most folks fail to consider shrinking attention spans. Honestly, as soon as I have to scroll, you’ve lost me and I’ve moved on to something else. And I suspect that this is true of most of the people reading your profile – especially recruiters. Our time is limited and we need to evaluate an individual’s qualifications in 5 seconds or less. In fact, that’s all you really have…5 seconds to make me want to reach out.
Mistake #1…Copying and pasting your resume content directly onto your LinkedIn professional history. At least 1/2 the folks reading your profile actually have a copy of your resume (assuming that they are checking you out because you applied for a job.) If you give them a carbon copy of your resume, how does this help them get to know you better?
The fix? Make sure that the content you use supports the same core brand, but is not identical. The easiest way to do this is to write using the first person.
Mistake #2…Writing a novel for your professional history. Back to my aversion to scrolling (wait…is that a squirrel?), very few people are actually interested enough to stick around and read your professional life story. So sorry, but it’s true!
The fix? Keep each entry short – 1 to 5 sentences maximum. Hit your 2 to 3 biggest accomplishments and move on to the next job.
Mistake #3…Making us scroll all the way back to your high school job at McDonald’s. There are only a few instances when a person needs to include their entire work history. Doctors, lawyers, public servants, and maybe even serial entrepreneurs…but that’s all.
The fix? Try to stay between 10 and 20 years max. Maybe then you’ll keep my attention.
Mistake #4…Being boring. I need to see that you love your job. You need to communicate to me that your job is actually a “calling” and that you’re really in it to win it. Engage me.
The fix? Tell me your story in your summary. Or tell me why you do what you do. Why did you choose your career? Or did it choose you? Be compelling – and you know the easiest way to do that? Be honest. It might be uncomfortable at first, but trust me…it’ll grab me.
Happy writing, and as always, I’d love to read your profile when you’re done!