Thinking about looking for a new job? Start by updating your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters and hiring managers typically look at your LinkedIn profile before they decide to reach out to you or respond to a resume you’ve submitted.
So how do you get a rockin’ LinkedIn Product Management profile that makes them want to engage? Here are 10 tips from a recruiter (me) who looks at hundreds of profiles a day.
1. Your Headline is your future you.
Most people have their headline as their current title. That’s great if you love your current title and company. If you’re in between jobs, or especially if your changing careers, you’re headlines should be what you want your next title to be. Help hiring managers know what your focus is. Here are some examples:
- Product Management Leader: This heading says that even if your last position wasn’t a manager role that you’re looking for a leadership role in your next position.
- SMB Product Marketing: This lets me quickly identify where your marketing focus has been.
- Agile Evangelizer: Wow, if I’m looking for someone to implement agile in my company, wouldn’t an evangelizer be attractive?
2. Your summary is your story to tell.
Have you ever created an elevator pitch about yourself? Don’t waste this space to recap your years of experience that you’ll just repeat in the Experience section. You’ve got 2,000 words to tell a hiring manager what your resume doesn’t say. Andy Foote captured some great ones in this article: 3 Stunningly Good LinkedIn Profile SUMMARIES
Since your profile is all about metadata, include a skills line at the end of your Summary that includes all of the skills, software, applications, etc. that hiring managers may be looking for.
3. Your experience is not your job description.
I see a lot of LinkedIn profiles where people take their job description and paste it into their profile. That’s probably going to land you the same job. Why not use this area to highlight the experiences that you want to take forward? Quite often we end up doing tasks that are outside of our role. This is particularly true in small companies and startups. What tasks do you want to highlight that your next manager wants to know?
4. Use active words to describe your experience.
Use action words to describe your experience. Did you “work on” a product or did you “own” the product? Did you “attend” tradeshows or “present” at tradeshows? I’ve compiled a great list of Product Management Resume Action Words to help you power-up your resume.
5. Get specific.
Saying you were “responsible” for all outbound marketing doesn’t tell me if you wrote it or if you managed a vendor who created the content. Get specific about what you managed, created, planned, etc. Back up all those action words with specifics.
6. Use data to support your facts.
Backing up your statements with powerful data will get the attention of most hiring managers. For example, “Reduced time to market” is not as meaningful as “Reduced time to market by 3 months”. If you managed a budget, include the amount of budget authority you had.
7. Highlight your leadership experience.
This is particularly important if you’re trying to move into a manager or director role. Emphasize your leadership experience, both direct and indirect. Statements like: “Hired and managed a high-performing team of 14 engineers” and “Led cross-functional teams through three successful product release cycles” are great examples of using action words, specific examples, and leadership experience.
8. Join your peers.
Join LinkedIn Groups where your peers, or those who you want to be peered with, hang out. Start commenting on discussions to show your interest and/or knowledge on a topic. On that same note, it goes without saying that your online reputation precedes you. Be respectful and polite in your comments on other people’s posts. (Like this one.)
9. In Addition – What you haven’t said yet.
I like reading the personal side of candidates and sometimes this section tells me more about the person than the rest of their profile. Whether you love golf, coach Little League, are a sommelier, or fly droids on the weekend, this is a great place to add a hopefully well-rounded you to your profile.
10. A picture is worth a 1000 words.
Your profile picture should match the type of job you want. I understand that if you are creating anime cartoons or video games, your profile picture might be your favorite character. But for the rest of us in management positions, please, please, please if you do nothing else, invest in a professional head shot. You only get one first impression.
Bonus! Flaunt your differentiation and devotion to Product Management and Product Marketing.
- Display your certifications! Put the AIPMM Certified Product Manager CPM, Certified Product Marketing Manager CPMM and Agile Certified Product Manager ACPM your profile. This is one way to stand out from the crowd.
- List the training you have gone through and the books you have read about Product Management and Product Marketing.
- Make sure you list yourself as a Product Management process expert and that you have read our Optimal Product Process book.
Once your LinkedIn Product Management profile shines the right light on your past, present, and future, update your resume to support it. Remember that recruiters are searching on key words. What are the key words that are going to find you?
About the Author
Mira Wooten is the Director of Recruiting at the 280 Group, a Product Management and Product Marketing company that provides consulting, contractors, training, certification, books and templates, and contingent recruiting services. Mira has over 10 years working with clients to identify the perfect team fit for their needs. She is also the owner of Clarity Coaching Works, a professional coaching company. Follow Mira at @mirawooten.
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