15 ways for executives to get their Linkedin basics right

Written by: Tamara Harrison
Published on: 19 Mar 2017

    You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.  In this guest blog, Tamara Harrison of Eton Bridge Partners explains that even senior executives sometimes don't get the basics right when it comes to Linkedin - and why this is important for your career!

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    Only a few years ago, your CV was your primary marketing tool. How times have changed. Recruiters and employers can now get a huge amount of information simply by typing your name into a search engine before they even receive your carefully crafted resume.

    As a researcher specialising in senior executive search I use LinkedIn daily. Your LinkedIn profile creates the first impression I – and potential employers will get of you.

    At Eton Bridge Partners, we recruit executive talent and even at this level I am sometimes surprised by the mistakes I see. So, basic as it may seem at first glance, it’s worth spending time checking your LinkedIn profile against the following checklist.

    • Check for spelling mistakes. I have seen many “HR Manger”, “Cheif People Officer”, “HR Proffessional” and even people spelling the name of their own company incorrectly.
    • Have a professional photo that represents who you are in the workplace. Don’t use a holiday shot or a photo from party or a wedding, where you have cropped the other people out of the picture. Sad to say, I’ve seen all of these.
    • When you move on or are promoted update your profile. Remember to say you’ve finished your previous role so it doesn’t look like you have multiple roles, unless this is the case.
    • Keep updates professional. Think about what you post and make it relevant to your professional brand. Save demonstrating your genius by solving a puzzle 90% of people get wrong for Facebook (and even there, be cautious).
    • Use key words and phrases for your current job and the job you would like to move in. It makes your profile easier to find for researchers like me. 
    • If you don’t want to be contacted by headhunters, let them know. We understand that not everyone wants to be!
    • Don’t have more than one profile. It’s surprisingly common for quite senior people to have two or three out of date profiles.
    • Saying you have a degree from the University of Life isn’t amusing and doesn’t make you more placeable. Sorry!
    • Ask colleagues and customers for recommendations to enhance your profile and emphasise your capabilities.
    • Share links to blogs and other interesting articles, especially if you have written them.
    • Join and participate in relevant groups that will raise your profile.
    • Post status updates to start conversations and make new connections for your network.
    • Follow companies, organisations and charities you might be interested working with.
    • Add details about your roles and your key achievements.
    • Always get someone else to read your profile. They can give their objective opinion and highlight any errors or inconsistencies you may overlook.

    As the old Head and Shoulders advert used to say, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression”. So use your LinkedIn profile to make sure your first impression is memorable for the right reasons.

    Tamara Harrison