18 Sep 2014

Linkedin Profile Tips to Land Your Dream Sales Job

Linkedin Profile Tips to Land Your Dream Sales JobOften landing that dream sales job begins by simply getting noticed and I have a few Linkedin Profile tips to help make that happen. Even if you’re getting more attention from sales recruiters on Linkedin than you’d like; it might be from the wrong ones. Serious sales recruiters, the ones representing A level opportunities, are selective in who they approach. They (and their clients) see your Linkedin Profile as a representation of you. Your attention to detail, your brand and how you represent your employer tells a story. Even if you have zero intention of ever leaving your current employer, much of what I’m about to share can help to advance your career with your current employer. Just as recruiters look at your Linkedin profile before deciding to work with you, many of your current prospects do the same thing. In my role as the President of Sales Talent, I never agree to a sales meeting without first researching the sales rep that is calling on me.  In fact, I’ll do that before I even look at the company and/or service they represent.

Linkedin Profile Tips

Let’s literally take it from the top – your profile picture. If you’re missing one, you’re at a disadvantage. It shows that you don’t take your Linkedin profile that seriously and can be an automatic knockout with some companies (yes, hiring managers have uttered those exact words to us), especially those in technology. If you do have a picture, make sure that it’s professional and that you come across as approachable and likeable. This should be obvious but selfies are a no no.  How much effort should you put into this? Imagine not getting contacted for a dream position that would instantly increase your income by 25% because your picture left a bad impression. A more in-depth take on the topic of your profile picture can be found here – 13 Common Profile Picture Mistakes.

“Summary” Section. Too often I see a cut and paste overview of your company’s products or services. Or worse, nothing. You should have a concise summary of your approach, your service or product, the value you bring to the business world and perhaps a few of your personal values.  You’ve never thought about your personal values? This might be a good time to start. And don’t sound like you’re trying to sell. Today’s buyers hate being sold but they do love having their problems solved.

“Experience” Section. With this section you have a choice to make. Do you tailor it to your customers? Do you make it read like a resume? My suggestion… do a little of both. If you’re a performer make that clear yet tasteful. Customers usually want to work with a top performer but only if you have their best interests in mind. Do put major sales accomplishments on your profile. Otherwise you’re just a person who works at xyz corp. Considering that only 25% of sales reps at a given company are top sales performers, that’s really not that impressive, is it?

“Skills & Expertise” Section. I find this section most useful if you work in a highly technical industry. If that’s the case, showcase your talents. For the purposes of landing a dream job in sales, I’ll refer you back to the two sections above as the most important.

“Education” Section. If you don’t have a degree you’ll probably want to skip this section. If you do have a degree absolutely put that on your profile. Most higher level positions are going to require that you have one. Did you receive academic awards such graduating Cum Laude? Display that as well. I also encourage listing leadership positions held during college as well as any collegiate athletics that you participated in.

“Additional Information” Section. I caution you to tread lightly with this section. It can help you to share potential common interests such as running or cooking. Just as easily, those common interests could turn a lot of people off. For example, it’s not that uncommon to see hunting listed as an interest. The HR Manager of the company that you are interviewing with who lives in NYC is probably not going to like reading about your favorite pastime. Since this is at the bottom of your profile it will be the last thing they remember about you.

Final Linkedin Profile Tips

Mobile. 45% of Linkedin usage happens from a mobile device. View your profile from your phone to see if your Linkedin Profile is too long. In this case, less is more.

Noise. Have someone else view your Linkedin Profile to get feedback on how easy it is to read and whether or not it impresses. With most everyone overwhelmed by the amount of information that they have to process each day your profile needs to easily digestible. Here is where writing for mobile is going to help.

Done right, these Linkedin Profile Tips will enhance your presence with your current customers and prospects. It will also put you on the radar when next level opportunities come up. Either way, you win.  And check that you are open to receiving inMails. How will you ever hear about that dream sales job if you aren’t letting anyone reach out to you?

Given the significance of Linked, I wrote a more in-depth 2 parter on using Linkedin to sell more or get hired which that you can read here – part 1, part 2.


Chris Carlson

President and founder of Sales Talent Inc, a B2B sales recruiting firm. We place sales reps, sales engineers and sales leaders across North America. Employers can click here to learn more about our sales recruiting services. Candidates can view our current sales openings here.