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Let me start off by saying that Ted makes fun of me all the time for how utterly un-optimized my LinkedIn profile is. I don’t disagree, but I also thought Ted had some work to do on his profile.
So, we asked an expert, Lowe’s Corporate Recruiter Catherine Harkins, to give him some tips. As an Agenda reader, Catherine was able to compare Ted’s online persona with his LinkedIn profile and show how he could reconcile the two. So helpful.
Catherine: Let’s start with the photo. A lot of people think LinkedIn needs to be like your resume. Doesn’t need to be.
It should still be professional, but it can be more fun and represent you personally. It should be something that makes you approachable so that someone will want to reach out and talk to you.
I look at Ted’s and he looks friendly and he has a nice smile, but it’s a little bland, looks like it’s up against a dark wall or chalk board. Especially with what he does, I would do something more fun and innovative – anything related to Charlotte Agenda or related to any articles he’s written that can tie in to his personality.
Next thing: front page, the front part of the profile.
His says Founder and CEO – I would do something more interesting. You see all kinds of interesting topics here. His current job will be under experience, and certainly his title. But the person that pops up to me here… Charlotte Agenda is more fun and loose and this doesn’t speak to that. He should think of it as a mini tagline.
The summary: Here you really get an opportunity to speak to who you are.
It’s kind of your elevator speech in a way and it should be fun and engaging. For me, I wouldn’t say I necessarily search talent all day, it’s a little more fun. I brag on the teams I support a little bit and get people excited about what I do.
This is an opportunity to show his writing style, who he is and what he’s interested in. Most people use LinkedIn to stay connected in workplace. I change mine up all the time, and tag new content when I add it. ‘When I’m not at work I’m chasing my dog around the neighborhood,’ things like that.
Add photos and videos.
I don’t have work products necessarily, but we’re putting out content all the time. Lowe’s puts out content so I share it there, videos we’ve done [in addition to her articles]. Anything you can share to show your work product and make it interesting… People are driven by images.
Experience: I put the most detail around the most recent position.
Ted’s is almost like a resume at this point, but what you want is to tell a story around it. With what he has right now, I would be more fun with it, almost like the Agenda’s ‘About‘ page with who we’re reaching and what we’re trying to accomplish, and certainly if there’s a link to Raleigh I would include that. ‘We’re really excited about Raleigh, check it out.’
The further you go back, I put a little bit less detail. The most detail needs to be in most current position.
What you did in previous roles isn’t the same and not quite as relevant, but what you learned is very relevant. I would also include major projects from older roles. You never know if someone is looking for something (a current project they’re launching wherever they are) so if you have that experience they’ll say, ‘hey, this person has already done this.’
Over all: I would like this to look less like a resume and I would like to see more content.
I’m sure the content is out there that he’s created so I would update that. It may also be the first time that someone has heard of Charlotte Agenda if content is there.
The biggest thing is passion – unless you’re really in a creative role, your resume doesn’t tell us what you’re passionate about. LinkedIn gives you an opportunity to show who you are as a person, not just who you are at work.
Opportunities come up all the time, it could even be a new business venture. Why will someone contact you over contacting somebody else?
(Note: This content was co-created with Lowe’s. Start your career search here.)