To give your LinkedIn profile its greatest chance of ranking high in medical device and pharma sales recruiter searches (as well as in the feeds of your connections) – try these 6 steps that can be performed from the comfort of your mobile device using the LinkedIn app.
#1 Your Headline – Make it Keyword Rich
DON’T: Default to your current job title.
DO: Create a unique professional headline that includes the kinds of terms that hiring managers and recruiters would use to search for healthcare sales reps. Stuck on what to say? Revert to job postings – they can give you a great push in the right direction.
LinkedIn gives you 120-characters to play with – I suggest you make the most of it. Here’s an example:
Award-Winning Medical Device Sales Leader | New Business + Account Management | Drives Territory Growth + Turnaround
#2 A Professional Headshot
DON’T: Include a picture where you are clearly cropped out from a group, where you look blurry, where the backdrop is distracting, or it is clear that it dates back 10-15 years.
DO: The photo you choose will in many cases speak louder than words to those seeing it (and you!) for the first time. Ideally, take a photo that captures you from the shoulders up, and size it to fit LinkedIn’s larger headshot sizing.
Whether taken by a professional or DIY using photo-editing software, it is critical the picture you choose align with the roles to which you aspire.
So if your goal is to work as an Account Rep for a BioPharma firm, it doesn’t make sense to include a shot of you visiting Paris or on the ski slopes. However, if your aim I to work for a global resort chain, then by all means keep these pics.
#3 Customized URL
When you sign up for a LinkedIn account, you are given a URL that is usually your first and last name followed by several numbers and letters. Not only is this URL long and cumbersome, you are missing another opportunity to make an impression.
DON’T: Don’t forward this awkwardly-long URL to your connections.
DO: Shorten your URL to include just your first and last name, or customize it to resonate with your readers. Be sure to include this new URL as part of your resume’s contact info and your email signature.
Here’s an Example: http://www.linkedin.com/in/Steve-Smith-Specialty-Pharma
If you experience trouble customizing your URL, LinkedIn can walk you through it here.
#4 Get Recommendations
When it comes to backing up your experience and reputation, there are few things more powerful than the words of a strong reference.
DON’T: Be shy. Ask your managers, direct reports, colleagues and even healthcare sales clients to write a recommendation that speaks to your skills and talents. While there is no limit to how many recommendations you can have, I recommend at least three per experience entry if possible.
DO: Reciprocate if appropriate – it never hurts to pay it forward.
#5 GET ACTIVE
The chances of your LinkedIn profile reaping rewards exponentially increase if you remain active.
DON’T: Remain stagnant. While your profile may be up to date, a profile without activity is not likely to get you nearly as far as you’d like.
DO: Share + Join. Share articles from industry trade journals, websites and online magazines as well as LinkedIn Pulse, where you’ll discover authors of a wide array of topics.
Next, join some groups of interest and start reading, commenting and sharing. There are almost 200 groups related to Medical Device Sales alone!
Another benefit of groups? You can reach out directly to group members without being first connections.
#6 GET NETWORKED
DON’T: Wait for people to reach out and make connections.
DO: Focus on continually building your network to include people within healthcare, pharma, and medical device companies of interest, recruiters and HR professionals, etc.
With the right network in place, you can reach out as soon as you see a sales job posting of interest or better yet – know about that medical device or pharma role BEFORE it gets posted!
– By Virginia Franco, NCRW, CPRW