In many circumstances, the way employers perceive you can be more important than your qualifications.
The image you project in the way you look, dress and speak can make the difference in getting hired or getting ignored. Consider this true story.
In a Washington, DC metro station on a cold January morning, a man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time 2000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
After 3 minutes a middle-aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried on his way. 4 minutes later, the violinist received his first dollar, a woman threw money in his tip hat and without stopping, continued to walk. 6 minutes later, a young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again. 10 minutes later a 3-year old boy stopped to listen, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.
The musician played continuously for 45 minutes. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. 20 people gave him money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The violinist collected a total of $32. After an hour, he finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded.
The violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, using a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception and value.
So often in life, the way we see things can make it more or less valuable. Our true value may always there but we need to be sure than the image we project is actually being perceived as valuable. It can make a difference in how much we are paid and the level of work we are perceived to be capable of. Even graphics on an on-line profile can make a difference in the way we are perceived.
That’s why having a remarkable LinkedIn profile is important for most job searchers. Your LinkedIn profile can be much more than just a "digital resume" with a photo. An optimized LinkedIn profile is a golden opportunity to truly showcase your professional brand.
Here's how to build your LinkedIn profile so you get noticed and convey the perception of being remarkable.
1. Your Headline Can Be used for Branding, Not Just to List Your Current Job Title
Think of your LinkedIn profile like a website with keywords. Hiring managers and recruiters find profiles by searching specific keywords. Your job title is already searchable in your "Experience Section," so it becomes redundant in your headline. Utilize your headline as a banner for your professional and personal brand. If you update your headline on LinkedIn's mobile app, you’ll get twice as many characters for your headline as you do on LinkedIn's desktop version.
2. Add the NEW "Featured Section" To Your Profile
One of LinkedIn's newer and dynamic features is the "Featured” Section. It allows you to showcase a variety of media, content, and examples of your work on prime real estate within your profile. Add your resume, sample work you can share and certifications or awards to your "Featured Section."
3. Your Cover Photo is Your Personal Billboard
LinkedIn's Cover Photo provides you a unique opportunity to showcase your style and brand and is often overlooked by users. Personalize your cover photo with a tagline, quote, or logo to bring your brand to the forefront.
A profile with a branded cover photo stands out from the dull backdrop of so many LinkedIn profiles and allows you to dramatically promote your professional and personal brand.