This was a consistent message heard throughout a resume writing conference I recently attended. I typically don’t like what I call “misinformed statistics” – when I don’t know who created the numbers, what data they used, and for what purpose the analysis was done. I was ready to believe that the number was exaggerated, but was convinced otherwise when I heard an IT executive recruiter describe how he finds qualified candidates for his clients.
Here is his story. “John” actively uses LinkedIn to connect with potential candidates. He’ll review their job history, skill set, and achievements to determine if it’s worth his time to contact them. This initial selection process is followed by a resume request along with a phone discussion. If he receives the resume first, he’ll go to the person’s LinkedIn profile to get more information. If he is disappointed with what he finds, he may terminate his search.
After I heard his compelling message, I thought to myself: Could it be that the numbers for IT recruiters are higher than for other fields? This thought stayed with me until I heard conflicting evidence on my return flight to Seattle (via Dallas). I sat next to a telecom company owner who was on his way to make a sales presentation to AT&T.; His company designs and implements G4 infrastructures. He told me that his HR manager uses LinkedIn to find about 60% of their candidates and would increase that number if they got the AT&T; job. Do I have your attention?
Newly informed but still unsure, I now think that the LinkedIn numbers for IT recruiters are much higher than I imagined. Whether it’s 60%, 70% or 80%, can you really afford to take the chance that you might lose an opportunity? Look to see how your profile measures up. Don’t delay! You are missing out on opportunities.
To start you on your way, let’s look at LinkedIn headlines with a120-character limit. This is where you add your branding statement because it will follow you throughout your communications. Consider the most important statement to say about your achievements by first thinking about the top 3-5 things you want people to know. Then condense these down to a single sentence, a series of words or phrases, or the combination of both. This sounds so easy, and it certainly is when you do it badly.
I’m going to use my profile as an example, not as a thinly veiled marketing ploy, but as a great example of how to move from merely adequate to exceptional. I made this transition after hearing an embarrassing statement about my LinkedIn profile, “Jennifer must certainly be proud of her certifications.” I am, of course, but I was embarrassed that I had completely missed the point of my using my headline.
Here’s my story – I started out with the below headline that was loaded with my resume writing credentials. I thought that people would want to know my qualifications. Well, in fact, they do but it’s not the most important thing to say about myself. And, seriously, my potential clients are not going to spend the time to understand the significance of my certifications. Bottom line, they want a qualified writer who understands their industry.
- I have credentials that are well-respected in the resume writing community. (highly credentialed)
- I am a resume writer with solid experience writing technical resumes. (IT Resume Writer)
- I have experience working in IT and business intelligence. (IT and BI experience)
- I am able to understand a technical person’s achievements and this makes me different from other writers. (IT impact)
- It’s important for a technical resume to speak in language that the business understands. (business value)