There are countless articles out there on how to optimise ones profile on LinkedIn, but none that focus purely on what best makes the profile of a Retail Professional stand out. The variety of profiles on LinkedIn with the title “Retail Store Manager” or Retail Sales Assistant” are enormous, but there is more to making sure that that profile picture is professional looking, and that the profile itself contains the right keywords to attract the right recruiter. Especially when there is a high turnover in the market and job searching is a ongoing activity for any retailer.
It might be worth glancing at the article “Out With The CV, In With LinkedIn”as it looks to draw upon the basics of what makes a effective LinkedIn profile. But here are some of the enhancements which could really make a difference to the profile of a Store Leader, or a Retail based professional as a whole.
The headline on a LinkedIn profile can practically make or break ones chances of landing that perfect job. This means that if it is not accurate, it could discourage many hiring managers and recruiters to pick up that phone and contract that candidate.
However, this could be an easy fix for the majority, where using something a bit more exciting as a tagline, rather then just the job title handed down from the company plastered across the top. If one prefers to use their formal title any how, at least make sure that it is current, and not one which represents the roles from the past. For example, if the role which is being undertaken is a “Store Manager”, then use that as the tagline, if not then don’t.
Location, Location & Location
Many profiles across LinkedIn have numerous different locations on their main pages. Some have nothing at all, and some have it down as “Other”. May seem like a diplomatic approach, but doesn’t certainly work in the favour of people looking for that extra bit of interaction.
This can prove annoying at times, as many recruiters who are looking for that perfect candidate, may have come across them already, but if there is no certainty of location, they would not know whether they are suitable based on location. This can also pose a issue with hiring managers, where the information, or the lack of information can leave them in stand still, confused as to how to proceed with their search.
As time has advanced with the aid of technology, its surprising how people still fail to understand the importance of having up to date information on their CV and LinkedIn profiles. Especially when that information contains the method of getting in touch with them.
Not everyone on LinkedIn will have access to InMails, and not everyone will know how to use the feature altogether, hence why not make is easy for recruiters and hiring managers to get in touch. Its best practice to include both the email address, and mobile phone number, rather then losing the perfect opportunity which may come by.
No Work History
Imagine coming across a book which has a amazing cover, and looks like a great read, only when it is opened, its nothing but blank pages. Well to put this in context, its what recruiters and hiring managers feel like when they come across a brilliant candidate, but then when they click on the profile, all they see is titles but blank spaces.
Its great if a CV is present on the profile, but it should never be deemed acceptable to leave the work history empty. After all, LinkedIn is where 80% of recruiters first search for potential applicants, before even skimming through their paper based credentials.
It also represents that the candidate is not just lazy, but is still stuck in the old days of when it was common practice to hand in a paper-based CV and follow it up with a phone call. It comes across as if the candidate who’s eager to get a job and progress, but hasn’t been bothered to fill in the space which will be his/her main selling platform. Better to make a good impression then miss out on a opportunity!
Accuracy of Information
Its important enough to get the job title on the profile right, but there are numerous profiles which have also come across with having the wrong dates in place for when the candidate was in work. Some individuals suggest, that they were employed at two different roles at the same time, or have had multiple jobs over a short period of time.
Not only is this un-desirable, showing inconsistency with a valid cause, but it also seems unusual that one is a District Manager at say O2 Telefonica, and also at Starbucks Coffee at the same time. It is critical that the dates, as well as any other information on a LinkedIn profile are represented accurately.
Perhaps the number one mistake people make on their profiles, is assuming that they are able to sell themselves without any proof that they have had success in the past. Just mentioning that one was good at driving results, or that they were able to successfully carry out a project which made their employer a large profit is not enough to suggest that one actually did that. This is where the power of recommendations comes in.
Its empirical that the candidate has a handful of recommendations, especially in this day and age where searching for a job one is more likely to be approached by a recruiters if they can see that he/she is well recommended for their previous work. It is the same as a job interview, where when asked for references, one is generally expected to have some handy, the same rule now applies to a LinkedIn profile when it comes to recommendations. So get on to those former bosses and colleagues and start asking for those recommendations!
Although endorsements are a lesser form of say, recommendations, they still come in handy when proving their worth. People are able to endorse individuals for their work on a type of skill or trait. From Store Management, to Craft and Design, anything and everything is pretty much endorsable.
So even though they are not as respected as a recommendation, it is perhaps still a good idea to have some skills mentioned on the profile for the general network to be able to push endorsements too.
When it comes to education, just like a CV with no education mentioned on it suggests the candidate doesn’t have any, a LinkedIn profile would serve the same judgement when viewed by a recruiter or hiring manager.
If recruiters come across a profile with no mention of a school, college or university, then they will assume that the candidate didn’t attend any. With that being said, its fair to say no one can be sure whether the audience will first view the CV or the profile, so advice would be to not be lazy and just make sure education is mentioned on both in order to capitalise on any opportunities.
Many people underestimate the power of networking. This means they down see the value of making use of the extra features which LinkedIn users can make the most of. One of these is the industry relevant groups, where sharing ideas and best practice make one known to others in their field.
Not only does this allow one to stay on top of the latest news in the sector, but it can also express a sense of commitment to the subject, showing recruiters that the individual spends some time on LinkedIn, networking within people with similar specialisations.
Make it Personal!
This is sometimes the one aspect of a LinkedIn profile, which is not only difficult to explain how it needs to be done, but also making one understand the importance of making it their own.
Even though this may be a small aspect of ones LinkedIn profile, but it in many ways suggests that the candidate truly cares about their page, and what it represents. At the very least, its suggest that their is a lot of work which has gone into the profile, and hasn’t simply been a data input exercise.