Following the networking site’s recent facelift, an industry expert explains how to write a contract-winning LinkedIn profile that both works with the new-look service, and dovetails with your CV.
Earlier this year, LinkedIn unveiled a new look – which it says provides a “seamless experience across mobile and desktop”. It is the biggest ever overhaul to the world’s leading professional networking site.
So we asked Matt Craven from The CV & Interview Advisers to answer some of our questions about the change, and how you should use your CV and online profile in tandem to maximise your chances of finding the best contracts.
What are the main LinkedIn changes contractors (in particular) need to be aware of?
One major change was that LinkedIn decided that all the sections should be collapsed (you need to click a button to see all the information), but they have now reversed this with the Experience / Positions section.
The Summary is still collapsed which I personally think takes a lot away since this section is the focal point of the profile.
It makes it even more critical that the first two lines of the Summary (which still show) get across ‘what you are’ and ‘what you have to offer’ (your value proposition).
There’s a strong argument for adding in a new position at the top of the Experience section which would use your Ltd company as the heading and to populate this with the information that you would normally put in the Summary.
There will be some duplication, but if people don’t click the un-collapse button, they’re not going to see all the good stuff in the Summary section.
Is your involvement in conversations and posting opinions more important than ever?
LinkedIn is about what your profile says but it is also about your professional footprint, so who you are connected to and what you have to say for yourself matters.
The trick is to not get involved in inane drivel but to strategically post things that are going to attract the right people.
Those right people could be recruiters, decision-makers, potential hires, suppliers or partners (depending on your needs).
There are also people who we call Connectors who might serve as Introducers to any of the aforementioned categories.
There’s a lot to be said for doing someone a favour which could be as simple as introducing them to someone or recommending a book or whitepaper; this then serves as a networking credit to be called in a later date when you might want something from them, e.g. an introduction to a decision maker.
If you are connected to a group of decision makers in your sector, why not post an article that you have written on some kind of best practice that they might be interested in or maybe run a 30-minute webinar on a certain topic – this then starts conversations that might lead to some business.
How should your CV relate to your LinkedIn profile?
They should dovetail together but be written in a different style (don’t just copy and paste the info across).
Write your CV in the third person and LinkedIn in the first person in a more conversational style.
You can also talk more about your style and ethos in your LinkedIn profile.
Make sure you tell people what you are, what your value proposition is and what challenges you can help them overcome; back this up with evidence in the Positions section and use the Projects section for any case studies you might have.
The wording and messaging in your LinkedIn profile is as crucial as the copy in a website – there’s no point spending £000s on a website and stuffing it full of random and uninspiring copy – the same applies with LinkedIn so don’t just fill in the fields and think “job done!”.
Think long and hard about what you want to say and how the words will attract your target audience.
Sign-up for our Free LinkedIn seminar – designed for IT contractors
On Thursday, June 22nd at 1 pm, we are hosting a FREE 45 min LinkedIn webinar (with some good stuff on CVs too), specifically for the IT contractor marketplace, that goes way beyond the usual “top ten tips” we’ve all seen before. You can sign up here!