As a veteran, you must stand out as you try to make your mark in the world with a new career. Using LinkedIn can allow you to easily search for people in your network who work for companies you are interested in. So let’s review 5 steps when creating your LinkedIn veteran profile.
As a veteran, you must stand out as you try to make your mark in the world with a new career. Using LinkedIn can allow you to easily search for people in your network who work for companies you are interested in. So let’s review 5 steps to take when creating your LinkedIn veteran profile.
This is important because 78% of recruiters are finding their best candidates through employee referrals. In the same manner, 56% of recruiters say they find their best candidates through social networks.
This is across the board whether you are looking to go into the human resource space, you want to be an electronics technician, or something entirely different. Understanding how to create a LinkedIn profile is important for a veteran.
If you still more convincing, check out 3 Reasons Why Veterans Must Have LinkedIn. Just in case you may still be asking “Why do I need a LinkedIn profile?”.
Choose a Picture for your LinkedIn Veteran Profile
The picture is the first thing that anyone is going to see on your LinkedIn page. Try to make this a solo picture and make it formal or semi-formal.
Here are some quick tips:
- The photo should be a headshot
- Do not include a picture of yourself in uniform
- Your photo should not have anyone else’s face in it
- Pick a recent photo from the last year or two
- Choose a photo with a neutral background
- You should be wearing a suit or other formal clothing
- Relaxed professional pose
- You should be smiling to give off a warm impression
- A selfie is not considered professional
- Don’t include a photo of yourself on vacation or holding a beer!
If you do not have a formal picture, that’s OK. Ask someone to take one for you with their phone and email it to you. If possible, make sure to choose the highest possible image quality on the phone. We recommend e-mail to conserve photo quality (sending the photo as a text message can reduce its quality).
Think of yourself entering the office of your dream job and employer. What are you wearing, how do you look? How do you feel? Your profile picture should be that version of you. The one who is prepared and eager to be hired.
Craft a Headline
Crafting a headline is the next step in how to create a veteran LinkedIn veteran profile. The headline is what is going to go right at the top of your profile, and you have 120 characters or so to fill it in. Try and be descriptive about yourself and use keywords that represent your character and perhaps your career aspirations. Many people use this for their official job title, but you have more options than that.
Include what you’re looking for. For example:
- Seeking a role in manufacturing
- Seeking a role in financial services
- Seeking a role in accounting
You want a summary of yourself on your LinkedIn veteran profile as well, but the summary should not be all about your past as a veteran. You want to focus on what you have done since coming out of the service and entering the professional world.
Here is an example:
Former U.S. Army Captain and combat veteran with extensive leadership and analytical experience.
Type of Your Experience
According to a survey of veterans on LinkedIn, two-thirds of professional veterans say they work in positions are that are not similar to what they did in the military. In other words, don’t worry too much about your current skill set and how it immediately translates to a job.
As a Veteran, you probably have some amazing experiences that you want to share and this is where you can begin to form the link between your experience and your career goals. Your experiences as a veteran are what is going to catapult your professional career.
For example, if you are someone that was working in the electronics space in the military, chances are your knowledge there can help you transition into an electronics technician or something of that nature. What about languages, many veterans learn a new language while serving, do you know more than one? Be sure to get those included in the skills area.
Use Your Network, Get Recommendations
You have a vast network as a veteran of others who have served with you as well as friends, family, prior, and/or current co-workers. Reach out and use this network to ask for recommendations of skills on your LinkedIn profile.
An example would be asking someone to vouch for your computer skills or perhaps your leadership / management skills. Add people you have worked with in the past as well.
Make Sure Your Profile is Spell Checked and Free From Grammatical Errors
We recommend you use a free tool called the Hemingway App named after the famed author and World War I ambulance driver. To use this tool just copy and paste what you are writing and follow the onscreen instructions.
Making sure your LinkedIn veteran profile is free from basic spelling and grammatical errors will help get across your professionalism to both recruiters and those veterans you may be networking with.
When you are a veteran looking to make the move to a professional career, understanding how to create a LinkedIn veteran profile that stands out is important. Many recruiters rely on these profiles to do initial screenings of candidates and even to find potential candidates. You would be doing yourself a true disservice not to take advantage of the visibility such a quality social media profile can allow.