Talking In “Yellow,” While They Speak “Green”

Imagine a recruiter stumbles upon your LinkedIn profile. Their search was keyed up to look for “Green.” 

While your profile does in fact contain a couple of words of Green, most of the page is written in “Yellow.”

This creates some doubt in the mind of the recruiter – “does this person really speak Green, or have they only got a basic understanding of the language our company uses and the work we do?”

Imagine what the recruiter might say if your entire profile had been written in Green?

“This person knows what they want! Heck, they know what we want!”

“They’ve done some work in this industry before, or they’ve at least studied it intensely.”

“I could have a conversation with this person, they clearly speak my language.”

Although not as narrowly focused as a résumé, a LinkedIn profile still needs to be directed toward an intended target audience. And the best way of ensuring good targeting is to use the language of the people you want to connect with.

This includes having:

  • endorsed industry keywords
  • relevant recommendations
  • a headline that quickly summarizes you as a valuable contributor to your professional community
  • an About section that tells your story in a way that’s meaningful to the people in the places you want to work

Lots of job seekers don’t take the time to look at their profile through this lens. They often take their résumé, do some copy-pasting, and turn their LinkedIn profile into an HTML version of their CV.

This creates a profile that’s often very dry and usually ineffective, especially if your résumé hasn’t yet landed you an interview opportunity on its own.

In this situation, there’s a good chance that your profile isn’t written in the Green language that your recruiter speaks, and thus gets “lost in translation.”

Here’s the thing…

The language you use to describe yourself is important.

If the language you’re speaking doesn’t resonate with the people you’re speaking to, you’re essentially speaking only to yourself.

And it’s hard to hire yourself for a job.

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