Sandra Clark is a veteran LinkedIn guru who helps busy professionals create powerful LinkedIn profiles to get results.
The following is the 2nd of 2 separate interviews conducted between Sandra & David in early 2017. Again we hope you find some good nuggets as of information as you continue to use LinkedIn to network in the Accounting & Finance community.
Q: Should we include personal information (e-mail & phone number) in our profile?
Only people that you are connected to already can see your personal contact information so if you want all those great possible leads to be able to easily contact you, it makes sense to show your e-mail and perhaps your phone number. I recommend having as few barriers as possible to having people contact you. I have mine listed right near the top of my profile.
Q: In order to emphasize different core strengths, some of our candidates will have multiple versions of their resumes. Is this ok? How should they best manage their LinkedIn Profile in this situation?
It’s definitely recommended to customize your resume for each job applied to. I think of LinkedIn as being your 30-second elevator pitch – give people enough information to make them want to know more (and to show up in searches) so that they ask for your resume. The resume should then intrigue hiring managers to want to interview you. All the parts (LinkedIn profile, resume, and interview) should be complimentary and certainly not contradict the other but you also don’t have to give them everything right up front.
Q: What’s the ideal length of a LinkedIn profile for Accounting & Finance Professionals?
They should definitely complete all the major sections (photo, headline, summary, experience going back at least 10 years, skills, education, certifications if they have them.) There are also other sections that can be useful, e.g. organizations and groups. And they definitely need a decent number of connections. Ideally, 30 or more for every year they’ve worked but at least 300. If they’re far from that number, they should just keep working on growing their network.
Each section of a LinkedIn profile has a maximum length. But just because they have for example 2000 characters in the summary section doesn’t mean you have to use them all. People have short attention spans – so give them enough that they want more. In general, a few sentences and several bullets highlighting some of your accomplishments or deliverables is good for both their summary section and each job.
Q: Today LinkedIn has numerous paid memberships to choose from. Which of these would you recommend to job seekers and why?
The majority of users really don’t need a paid account. Sandra does recommend people try the LinkedIn Job Seeker account free trial for a month once they’ve updated their profile and got it looking good – but she doesn’t recommend paid memberships for the average user on an ongoing basis.
Q: Lastly, on a lighter note, to the extent you’re willing to share, what’s the biggest ‘mistake’ you’ve ever made via LinkedIn? Something you did that you wish you could take back?
Hmmm… – I think I’ve made most of the common ones as well as a few less common. I always tell my clients that they can turn most any “mistake” into an opportunity.
Did you send a connection request without a personalized message? Follow up with a message (makes a double impact!)
Added a status update and forgot to include the link? Thank the person who told you for having your best interests at heart and add the link (or delete the post and redo it)
What’s my worst mistake? I manage my husband’s LinkedIn account and I accidentally gave LinkedIn access/permission to send invitations to his entire online address book. He is very reserved and this was embarrassing to him but then he was so gratified by how many of his contacts accepted his request to connect on LinkedIn and wrote him warm greeting messages. Ultimately my ‘mistake’ had a positive result and helped him dramatically increase the size of his Network!
Sandra Clark (LinkedInMentoring.com) offers coaching services and workshops to help busy professionals build their online brand and showcase their expertise by creating great profiles on LinkedIn. She also with companies to support them in being recognized as an employer of choice when potential employees look at potential managers and co-workers' LinkedIn profiles.
Founded in the fall of 2000, the DeWinter Group has established itself as the Bay Area's premier provider of accounting and finance professionals on an executive search, consulting, and contract basis. More can be found at www.dewintergroup.com.