You Have 30 Seconds for Your LinkedIn Profile to Make an Impression

LinkedIn ProfileI look at a LOT of LinkedIn profiles — to critique and offer suggestions. No matter how much information is contained in a profile, my initial glance lasts an average of 30 seconds.

So what am I looking for in those 30 seconds? In essence, it’s whether his/her personal brand is effectively communicated. My litmus test is whether I can describe what he/she does at the end of the 30 seconds. It’s really that simple. At the end of 30 seconds, I ask myself two questions: Do I know what sort of position this person might be seeking? What connection or job lead would I refer to this person?

Why do I ask those two questions? Because I review LinkedIn profiles like an outside professional. And while 30 seconds is an arbitrary number, its a realistic amount of time a busy professional will spend on a LinkedIn profile. If I have to spend too much time trying to figure out the thread to someone’s experience, or if there’s a complicated/wordy summary to glance through, I might still try a high-level scan to see what I can figure out on my own. Then I’m going to move on.

If I can’t learn enough about who his/she is and what he/she does in 30 seconds, I’m going to assume that you don’t have this part figured out either, and I won’t be able to answer either of my questions. An unclear personal brand means that I have to figure out too many of the pieces. Oh, I get that I’m not hiring you (and you may think I know nothing about hiring too.) But ask yourself if you’re making your hiring manager work too hard in his/her first 30 seconds of getting to know you.

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