LinkedIn CV Tips – Mastering the 6-Second Resumé TestLast Updated: July 1, 2020
Research has shown that in a typical job interview, you have up to 17 seconds to make a good impression. But with a résumé, you have only a fraction of this time. With more use being made of online résumé posting and tracking by applicants and hirers, it’s important to pass the six-second test. Here are nine ways to attract an employer looking at your LinkedIn account.
In a typical job interview, it’s estimated that you have seven to 17 seconds to make a good impression, according to Davitt Corporate Partners. That’s when you get through the door. What about the long road you must travel to knock the door in the first place? It’s tough, but not impossible. That’s why you should consider our LinkedIn CV tips and learn how to master the 6-second CV test on the network.
In a sense, there is nothing more or less complex about writing a LinkedIn profile than there is about writing a standard Curriculum Vitae or resumé. You will find much great food for thought in such best selling titles as Knock ’em Dead 2020: The Ultimate Job Search Guide.
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To emphasise why these basics are so important with regard to LinkedIn profiles, consider the 2012 research of job search agency TheLadders.com, which used eye-tracking software in a study of 30 researchers over a 10-week period. It was found that the average recruiter spent just 6.25 seconds reading a résumé. In this time, they spent 5 seconds looking at six things:
- Current position
- Previous position
- Current position start date
- Previous position start and end date
Although at that point in time, recruiters were less fond of LinkedIn profiles than a traditional candidate- or professionally-written résumé, there has been something of a shift in the recruitment industry towards LinkedIn.
At the user-end between Q1 2009 to Q4 2015, LinkedIn members have increased from 37m to 414m (with a 50m increase during the final three quarters of 2015 alone).
The jobseekers’ market is the most competitive there is, with employers receiving an average of 250 responses for each job. In this environment, LinkedIn provides a free or low-cost platform that can help you stand out. But only if your profile is carefully managed.
As the President of the Ladder Recruiting Group in Portland Oregon, remarked: “Your LinkedIn profile should be public.”
And as with the standard CV writing process, it’s important to appreciate that this takes focus and organisation, so get yourself a dedicated document holder briefcase or durable business backpack, and keep them solely for storing everything related to your business profile—your CVs, references, certificates and other documentation.
So to turn now to your LinkedIn profile, here are 9 useful LinkedIn CV tips for ensuring that your profile stands out in the brief seconds that it might be considered by a hiring manager.
1. Think ‘Focused and Professional’
Get a simple email address, something that clearly states your name, not an abbreviation, and doesn’t carry any ‘hotpants’ or ‘baby’ adornments. It takes seconds. Get an address that looks professional. No frills. Your name; the server—that’s it. Also, a prospective employer has no interest in part-time jobs that don’t relate to your professional. Unless you are entering the childcare sector, babysitting doesn’t really belong in a LinkedIn profile, nor does lawn-cutting unless you’re looking to be active in precision agriculture.
2. Ensure Spelling is Accurate
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Google HR chief Laszlo Bock (see book above) has a revelation that might startle those who don’t read their own writing twice. Google automatically bins 58 percent of all CVs it receives because of typographical errors.
But according to Bock, the key is not obsessive rewriting. That can lie at the root of the problem—due to the way our brains process information, we tend to ‘autopilot’ what we’re most familiar with.
Therefore, you have to take the objective, traditional newspaper sub-editor’s approach, and read the CV word-by-word, line-by-line. Bock takes this “defamiliarisation” process further. “Read it from bottom to top—reversing the normal order helps you focus on each line in isolation.”
3. Remove Personal Details
LinkedIn is about conveying a professional image. Those who read about it are unlikely to care much about anything unrelated to your skills (including date of birth, religion, ethnicity etc).
They don’t really want to read about your hobbies or interests.
Also, for a contact number, it’s wise to use a mobile or cell phone number—it conveys the impression that you are contactable, on the move, any time, rather than static at home.
The recommendations facility on LinkedIn is a great way of curating positive feedback about your professional output from those in your network. However, steer clear of including specific referees on your LinkedIn profile. Remember the line from your hard copy CV: “References are available upon request”. References don’t really belong on CVs, and tend to be specifically sought only on application forms. So, possible the most basic of our LinkedIn CV tips is… don’t bother with them on your LinkedIn profile either.
5. Be Concise
The strength of the online platform—flexibility of space—can be the enemy of the online career profile.
Take heed of lessons from preparation of hard copy career resumés which, maximum, include all information on personal details, education, skills, aptitude and career history within two sheets.
One of the most important LinkedIn CV tips to consider seriously is making the most of the online platform by providing an attractive profile photograph.
It is a well established digital business fact that anything with visual content, including a profile with a photograph, gets more clicks.
However, please ensure that your photograph at least appears professionally taken. Don’t put up anything that’s out of focus or shows you in anthing less than a perfect light.
7. Avoid Age Discrimination
Leave out any reference to your date of birth, and the dates on which you graduated from further education.
8. Thematic Organisation of Skills/Achievements
Highlight the ways in which you added value to an organisation, or used specific skills for certain tasks. Thinking about your career as a story is a useful process to organisation information. To have this as a concise introduction section on your profile his will help a prospective boss to see how you can synthesise, prioritise and process relevant data.
9. Research Keywords
Many companies who are inundated by resumés from job-seekers are using software systems to search CV databases for keywords that relate to job vacancies. One of the really smart Linkedin CV tips while researching a sector of interest is to ensure that your CV is subtly laced with the keywords that will attract an employer.