Recruiting Business-to-Business (B2B) salespeople and scouring through a few thousand LinkedIn profiles every year, I can’t spend much time reviewing your profile. I scan your LI profile and make a snap judgement about whether you are a top sales achiever.
B2B Salesperson LinkedIn Checklist
Here’s a 7-point checklist for B2B salespeople to make sure your LI profile makes a positive impression on sales recruiters and sales hiring managers.
1. Your photo. Always the first thing that anyone looks at so you MUST have one. If you don’t have a photo, understand that the mystery doesn’t work in your favor. You don’t need to hire a professional photographer either. Just post a decent headshot (from your iPhone) and keep it professional. This isn’t Facebook or Twitter, so don’t use a family photo or your wedding pic as your LI profile photo. A really bad LI profile photo may actually be a knockout blow.
2. Your headline. This is the short text right under your name. Briefly describe what you do and for whom. Better still, tell about the impact that you make in your sales career.
3. Your summary. Tell your career story in a short paragraph. Make it easy to understand what you do now, where you’re going, and your goals. Also, describe what you do for your clients. Please write this in the first person; it’s off-putting and pretentious to write about yourself in the third person on LI!
4. Your connections. For a strong B2B sales rep, it takes modest effort to reach the 500+ connections level. If you want to demonstrate that you’re a B2B sales person with a solid business network, having, say, only 42 LI connections undermines your credibility.
5. Your sales experience. Describe each of your roles briefly. Highlight accomplishments, recognition and promotions. Don’t just copy and paste your resume but do show a complete work history. Don’t leave unexplained gaps in your work history — that’s a red flag — and make sure the start/end dates are correct and logical.
6. Your education. Be sure to include your college/university and the degree and year earned. Don’t make someone guess whether you earned a degree or not!
7. Your sales achievements. This is really important! You can list these under Honors & Awards but I don’t recommend using this separate category on LI because it appears near the bottom of the page. Just load up your LI profile throughout with your sales accomplishments, for example, sales awards or contests you won, President’s Club, Rookie of the Year, your rank in sales force, your % sold to quota, the growth achieved in your territory, # of new accounts that you opened, etc. It’s critical that you include these high achiever keywords for a sales recruiter or sales hiring manager to be able to easily find your LI profile when searching for top salespeople.
Remarkably, we still come across B2B salespeople with very weak LI profiles. This is a red flag to a sales recruiter and sales hiring manager. “I don’t like to use social media” is an unacceptable explanation for a top B2B sales professional in 2018. Invest 30 minutes on LI and then refresh your LI profile every few months so you will be sure to make a positive impression with sales recruiters and sales hiring managers. Not to mention, you should be using LI as one of your power tools for networking, prospecting, and new client development in your current sales job!