You keep hearing, “You have to have a LinkedIn profile for your job search.” Right? Its where employers and recruiters are sourcing candidates. It’s where career experts offer advice, and much of it good advice. Yes, you definitely want to be there.
So, you created your profile, and … nothing. Not even a clunk to tell you something is wrong. Just deep, deafening silence.
If you’re not getting the results you want from your LinkedIn profile, it may be that you haven’t decided what those results need to be. The ultimate goal is a new job, of course, but during your search, you want some assurance that you’re on the right track. That means measuring data. (I know, numbers may not be your friend. I tell people there is a reason I am a writer, and it’s math. But even I can understand and record these numbers, so trust me, you can, too.)
First, decide how you’re going to keep track of the information. From analog to digital, here are some choices:
- Make hashmarks on a sticky note.
- Start a separate page in your job search journal.
- Create a table inside a Word document.
- Create an Excel spreadsheet.
- Use an application like JibberJobber.com.
- How many times have you shown up in search results each week?
How many people view your profile each week?
- How many people contact you for connections each week?
- How many people do you connect with?
- How many people contact you regarding your job search?
- How many of those connections “go live?”
Searches and Views
The first two are easy to find. They appear in the right-hand column on your profile. Just write down the numbers. What is a reasonable number? I know a LinkedIn guru who shows up in more than 50 searches a week. Most of us probably aren’t going to get there. The last time I looked at my numbers, I had appeared in 26 searches — up from 3 a few weeks earlier. You CAN attract more searches. For example, I rewrote the summary section of my profile, and the searches started rolling in.
Often, as a result of showing up in more searches, your profile will receive more views. That’s what you want. Actually, that’s part of what you want. The important part is to have the RIGHT people viewing your profile, the ones who will be making a hiring decision about a position you want.
You receive a notice within LinkedIn when someone wants to connect with you or when they accept your request for a connection. You can also receive an email notice of your LinkedIn connections (Directions are on this Help Page.), so you can track them by searching your email weekly or keeping track as the requests come in.
The subject of the contacts (and whether it relates to your job search) can be tracked in the subject line of the message in LinkedIn or, again, you can note them as they happen. Having a good percentage of incoming messages related to your job search is a good sign you have the right language in your profile.
Taking the conversation live
The number of connections that go live means how many people you talk with after the initial connection. Did you or they strike up a conversation? Were you able to determine if they have something to offer your job search effort? Do you have something to offer them? Did you or they request or offer assistance? Did they make an introduction for you? This is the direction you want to go. Simply gathering connections is important for growing your network in the sense that it gives you access to many, many more people. It is only the first step; being able to exchange useful information with the connections to be of mutual service is your objective.
Ready to improve?
When you’re ready to improve your numbers, and you’re confident in your ability to write well and know the best search terms to use, Brenda Bernstein’s book, “How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile,” offers a great deal of help. Read about it here.
If a vacation in a Siberian gulag sounds preferable to writing your own profile, contact me at Jeri@WorkwriteResumes.com or at 218.791.4045. We can take a look at your profile and see if I am the best person to improve it. (What I do isn’t for everyone, so if I’m not the right fit for you, I will refer you to one of my certified colleagues.)