When my wife and I moved into our new home in Portland, OR, we couldn’t have been more excited.
Then, after three months, our dryer stopped working well. It was taking us two or three cycles to get the clothes dry. It got so bad that I remember hanging clothes on my office door, the back of the couch and dinner chairs. After all, it was raining outside (Portland!).
So, one day I got fed up and made the “call-o-shame” that a lot of guys find hard to make—the call to the repairman.
When the repairman arrived, he walked over to the dryer and, to my horror, went straight for the lint drawer and peeled out a lint brick the size of a boot. Instead of the typically fluffy lint, this felt like a solid mass.
I’m sure that I was blushing. I’ve used a dryer my whole life.
Yet, I still missed something so completely obvious because I was living it.
The same thing happens when people try to write about themselves, fill out profiles or otherwise think objectively about something they are living in.
And missing something small can sometimes lead to big repair bills. For job seekers, it could mean missed opportunities or, worse, like getting blacklisted.
So, to help you determine if you are missing that LinkedIn lint brick—the obvious thing you can’t see—here are three objective tests you can run.
1. Has Your Network Grown?
LinkedIn doesn’t offer an easy way to track and report on network growth. It’s something you’ll have to do manually.
Look back at your emails from LinkedIn. You should be getting emails announcing every time you make a new connection. Filtering those emails by date, count how many new connections each month for the past six months.
If you’re network hasn’t grown month over month, the reason might be that the way you are talking about yourself isn’t compelling enough for people to want to connect with you. Often, minor improvements in profile language can result in exponential network growth. You’ll get more requests, and you’ll get a better acceptance rate when you send requests.
2. Is Your Profile Visible?
Many small businesses use LinkedIn’s built-in search feature to source candidates. The better you describe yourself in your profile, the more you will appear in search results.
Luckily, LinkedIn provides this report right inside your profile. To access it, click on Who’s Viewed Your Profile on the Home page. Then toggle over to the graph on the top right called Appearances in Search. If you don’t see an upward trend, then something is missing from your profile.
My guess is that you aren’t describing yourself in an accurate enough or objective enough way. Perhaps there are keywords and trends missing from your profile. Perhaps there simply isn’t enough copy on the page to capture the outlier opportunities. This is a classic symptom of being so “in it” that you can’t see how others see you.
An easy fix might be to write more and hope that something you say sticks—like tossing spaghetti on a wall to see if it’s done—but that’s not a precise way to improve your click rate. Read on…
3. Are You Clickable and Cuddly?
Click rate can be a measurement of the quality of your profile. The better your profile copy, the more likely someone will be to click on you when you show up in search results. That’s what the Views report tells you.
Again, if you don’t see an upward trend in views, then the quality of your Headline needs improvement. Improving that pesky 120-character area will have the largest impact on your job search success.
What You Can Do to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile
I respect people who want to do it themselves. My yard is full of DIY projects (and they look that way!). But, sometimes, you have to hire a repairman to tell you where your lint bricks are.
When it comes to your career, you may want to consider having a professional writer handle your profile.
My LinkedIn Profile Writer service offers a 48-hour turnaround on your new LinkedIn profile, guaranteed for quality. After uploading your new profile, expect upward trends in your network growth, visibility and clickability within weeks.
Your career isn’t something you want to take risks on. Every day that your profile isn’t working for you is another lost opportunity to find your dream job.