LinkedIn is a one-stop-shop for employers and jobseekers. With a half a billion registered users there is a vast pool of talent there ripe for the recruiter’s picking.
So, how do you stand out in this extremely crowded field?
On the one hand most professionals will tell you that you need a complete profile to really compete on LinkedIn. This means you have the following:
- A professional profile photo
- A headline
- A summary section
- A work history that goes back no more than 15 years
- At least 4 accomplishment for each job
- A completed skills section
- A handful of recommendations
Each of these pieces of information are important for their own unique reasons and you should definitely strive to represent yourself as strongly as you can in each of them.
However, there is one area that is more important than all the rest and is where you need to put the most focus.
When a recruiter is looking at the search results page all she sees are the profile pictures and the profile headlines. This then is your most important line on LinkedIn.
You need to be sure your headline is dynamic enough to make the searcher click through to your actual profile page. Whatever you do, don’t just use the default and have your current job title there. Sell yourself. Use some industry keywords.
So let’s assume you pass through this first gauntlet. What’s next?
The next thing a recruiter sees is your abbreviated profile page. This means she can see the first two lines in your About section, right under your headline. In order to see the entirety of your summary and profile she’ll need to click through.
This means those first 2 lines are the next most important lines in your profile. They need to build on what your headline has already claimed about you.
If you can hook them with those first 2 lines then your full profile finally has a shot to shine.
So by all means spend a lot of time getting all the parts of your profile right. But spend the most time on those all important 3 lines- the headline and the first 2 lines of your profile.
Think of them as the hook and sinker of your profile as you fish for recruiter’s views.