The A-I-D-A Guide to Building the Perfect LinkedIn Profile

January 20, 2015

AIDA—Attention. Interest. Desire (Decision). Action. If you’ve worked in sales or marketing, or seen the first 20 minutes of the classic movie Glengarry Glen Ross, you know what it means.

But how can you transfer this, as a job seeker, to your LinkedIn profile? It’s easier than you think.

Attention: Name, Picture, Headline

TheHiringManagersGuideToLinkedInPages.jpg

Type in your current or desired job description into the search bar in LinkedIn.

Which would you be more likely to click? The “Multi-dimensional business and finance executive” without a company name or personal photo, or the second person who features both searchable terms, past positions, a professional photo and a name?

Photo

“A picture is worth a thousand words”

Grabbing attention in LinkedIn Search could actually be as simple as using a photo. Profiles with photos, according to an Undercover Recruiter article, are 14 times more likely to be viewed.

Name: A Surprising Misstep for Some Professionals

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” –Dr. Seuss

The addition of a name to a LinkedIn profile is something that some professionals fail to grasp, not by failing to put a name, but by overstuffing keywords or fluff into the name section.

You’d be surprised what people toss into their name section:

  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Taglines like “Learn to Trade the Markets”
  • Amount of LinkedIn Connections
  • NAME IN ALL CAPS/name in all lowercase
  • Company Name
  • Job Title
  • Nicknames
  • Hearts, Stars, Horseshoes, and anything that belongs only in a well-balanced breakfast

We could write for hours on things you should avoid in your name, but start by including your name, and move on to the next section.

Headline: 120 Characters to Drive a Click

When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar. –David Ogilvy

You have 120 characters to wow someone searching you—don’t waste it. This is why advice found on LinkedIn actually shares a valuable four-step process to writing your personal headline:

  • Step 1: Say WHAT you are.
  • Step 2: Say WHO you help.
  • Step 3: Say HOW you make their life/work better.
  • Step 4: Give PROOF that you are credible

The most important part to drafting a killer LinkedIn headline is this: “Don’t Sound Cheesy.” We understand that you may consider yourself a “guru,” “maven,” “rockstar,” or “secret agent,” but there is a line between acceptable industry terms and corny fluff.

Interest: Summary

Both the area where you should include relevant keywords and the area where you need to interest the reader into scrolling to learn more about you, the summary section is considered by many to be the most important part of a LinkedIn profile.

HubSpot, a leading lead generation software, offers the following advice to improve a LinkedIn summary:

  • 3×3 Format: Three paragraphs with less than three sentences each.
  • Headline Reiteration: You have a bit more space than the original 120 characters to clarify and reiterate the reasons to continue reading. Do this in the first paragraph.
  • Career Specification: Detail some of the projects that you’ve taken on, the work you do, and the results you’ve achieved.
  • Call to Action: If you read a lot of HubSpot, you’ll understand their affinity for calls to action. Of course, this is a good time to invite your reader to read more or contact you.
  • Visual Content: Do you have a SlideShare profile or a portfolio worth sharing? Put it right below the summary using the visual upload tool.

What to Omit

Again, make sure to reiterate relevant keywords for the job you want, and to avoid the most overused LinkedIn buzzwords:

1. Motivated– ambitious, determined, compelled

2. Passionate– ardent, impassioned, zealous

3. Creative– inventive, original, cunning

4. Driven– intent, persistent, tenacious

5. Extensive experience– seasoned, accomplished, proven

6. Responsible– conscientious, accountable, reliable

7. Strategic– significant, consequential, high-priority

8. Track record– history, background, credentials

9. Organizational– administrative, managerial, authoritative

10. Expert– authority, pro, professional

Desire/Decision: Experience, Volunteering, Certification, Skills, Recommendations

Now that you have your reader interested in what you can offer them, it’s time to help them make a decision to call you.

Experience

Another section what gets high traffic is that of the experience section, co make it more than a laundry list of duties. On “Building the Perfect LinkedIn Profile,” The Undercover Recruiter blog offers this advice:

  • Details: Cover both responsibilities and achievements at the current and former jobs, including the company details, why you were better than others at what you did, and how it helped the company.
  • Targeting: You know what you’re looking for. Whether you are trying to social sell or to find a job, this is where you can sweeten the deal for your specific reader.

Skills, Awards, Recommendations

Even if the skills section is seemingly overrated thanks to LinkedIn’s prompts for users to recommend skills for anything and everything, it is still worthwhile to organize skills in the way that you want your reader to read them.

Recommendations are where your money lies. These long-form statements from trusted coworkers and friends highlight your value proposition. Aim for 5-10 recommendations from trusted individuals, and ensure that said recommendations are positive before sharing.

Awards and certifications are valuable because it is documented proof that you have demonstrated the skills that you claim to have.

Volunteer Experience

42% of hiring managers surveyed by LinkedIn said they view volunteer experience as equivalent to formal work experience. This means that a) Start Volunteering, and b) Share it on LinkedIn

Action

One of the things that people fail to include is the “Advice for Contacting” section. This, along with the buildup added throughout your entire profile, is the action. Give a clear path for contacting you with opportunities, and respond as needed.

Additional Notes

  • ‘Notify Network’ Off: If you are currently employed, before doing all of this, be sure to turn off the “Notify Your Network” portion on your profile. You don’t want everyone to see [name] has an updated profile in their news feed.
  • Publish: You have the skills, show them off by using LinkedIn’s blogging feature.
  • Share Relevant Information: If you’re not blogging, share a link to industry news every day.
  • Join (and post actively) to LinkedIn Groups: Becoming an top contributor in a group is the quickest way to get recognized by employers.

If you’re ready to take the career leap in 2015, contact The Overture Group to learn more. Further, read the following advice for job seekers:


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