Hey administrative professionals; if you haven’t already noticed, your profession is in high demand!
The best APs are snapped up very quickly by some of the top employers and many companies have struggled to find talent when they need it. That’s great news for you! But still, it pays to be the sort of candidate who gets a head start over the rest.
One thing you can do is work on your online profiles, such as LinkedIn. An online search is often the first thing recruiters will do when scoping for new talent and having a profile that stands out can put you a step ahead.
Here are some of our tips for creating an executive assistant LinkedIn profile that shines:
Start with the right profile picture
LinkedIn is a lot more professional than other social media platforms and is designed to connect people in a business sense. This means that your holiday snaps or duck-face selfies just don’t cut it as a profile picture.
You can think of it a bit like a business card. If you use headshots on your card, you’d make sure they were professional-looking and conveyed a sense of trustworthiness. It’s surprising how many profiles still use a pet or a completely unprofessional picture as the first thing anyone searching will see.
You don’t necessarily have to go to the expense of having a professional photographer take your pictures (although these can definitely be worth it!). Make sure you are dressed well and have a tidy appearance. Have someone take a picture of you in good light so that your face is clearly visible. Crop to the size guidelines for LinkedIn profile pictures.
Make sure your profile is public
This is just a quick check - many people don’t have their profiles set to “public” and have no idea they’re not showing up in recruiter searches! Your profile visibility can be managed in your LinkedIn account settings.
Add a background photo
Many people seem to leave this out, but adding a background photo helps to communicate more about who you are and what is important to you. It can be an attention-grabber as part of your profile, so it really should say something about you! The goal here is to have a memorable profile - recruiters are probably looking at many profiles.
Highlight the right skills
When recruiters search online for executive assistants, they’re looking past the job title and to your specific skills and experience. It’s important that the right skills and experiences are highlighted.
For example, some people have everything they’ve ever done included on their profiles, but this doesn’t make it any easier for recruiters to spot the best candidates. They’re going to skim through, looking for whatever is relevant to them, so make it easy! Only include the most relevant experience.
The same goes for your highlighted and endorsed skills. It’s important to be strategic about them so that the most important skills for the EA role rise to the top. Having 79 endorsements for a very basic skill (e.g. Microsoft Word) won’t help you and can be distracting.
To spruce up your skills section, go through and delete any that are meaningless in terms of you getting an EA role. Check through the skills you have listed and look for any gaps - add the missing skills. Lastly, you should make sure your skills are listed with the most important and relevant at the top.
Remember that a big part of being found online is the keywords that you use. That goes for your LinkedIn profile too, so make sure you’ve used relevant keywords among your skills and descriptions.
Create a custom URL
When you create your LinkedIn profile, if you don’t customize your profile URL then LinkedIn assigns something automatically. It usually looks a bit like this: www.linkedin.com/in/kenzie7863972. As you can see, this definitely isn’t memorable and could belong to anyone out there named Kenzie.
A custom URL gives you an easier way to ensure people find the right person. This is especially important if you happen to share a name with many others! To update your custom URL, navigate to your profile and select the “edit” option to the right of the screen (as shown in the screenshot below). From there you can edit to create a unique URL.
Request recommendations for your profile
Recruiters will generally check with references later in the recruitment process, but it certainly helps if they see recommendations early on. They’re basically your personal version of an online review - and people pay attention to reviews!
How many do you need? Many recommend that you have at least one review per role that you have listed on your profile. If you can’t get that many, aiming for at least three is good!
Tell your story with your summary
The summary is another profile feature that people often leave blank, but it actually can be a great way to get attention. After the profile picture and title, your summary is one of the next things that a recruiter will spot.
The summary should tell your story in a more personable way, rather than simply being another list of skills and experiences. For example, you could outline what really matters to you in your role and how you make a difference to the people you work with.
Lay off the buzzwords
Every second person out there is a “results-driven team player” or an “experienced, passionate executive assistant.” Profiles are littered with buzzwords that really say very little about who people genuinely are.
An alternative strategy to pulling out the buzzword dictionary is to actually demonstrate those qualities by listing your accomplishments and enlisting the help of recommendations to talk about you and your work.
It’s not that you should never use terms like “innovative” or “passionate.” However, you should definitely back those claims up. How are you innovative? What have you done that demonstrates your passion?
Impress with your headline
Sure, your headline could simply say “Administrative Professional,” or it could say “Administrative Professional - Supporting CEOs, Directors and VPs in Nonprofits and Fortune 500 Companies for 20+ years.”
The headline is one of the first things a recruiter will notice and it’s a great place to start to tell your story. Of the two examples above, which do you think will get more attention? We can confirm that it’s definitely the second one!
Your headline might also include key skills or qualities that you have. For example: “Bilingual (English/French)” or “Six Sigma Certified”. Think of the key attributes that a recruiter would be looking for in the type of role that you’d like.
These tips are some of the most common things we’ve noticed when perusing LinkedIn profiles. If there’s one final piece of advice, we’d say don’t do it halfway. If you’re going to have a LinkedIn profile, go all-in with a complete profile rather than missing chunks of information. You won’t do yourself any favors in the eyes of recruiters.
Lastly, if you’re looking for a remote executive assistant role, Worxbee matches top administrative professionals with our clients. Check out information on how to join our team here.