Your LinkedIn summary is 2,000 characters of prime real estate to genuinely differentiate yourself among the three million member online community.
Make it personal
Before you even get to the details of the work, show yourself to be a human being interested in a genuine human connection. The interviewer is not a criminal investigator, and you are not sitting under the hot police lights. It’s not an adversarial relationship, but a collaborative one. The interviewer is looking to support and advance his organization’s goals, and so are you – that’s what you have in common.
Find additional areas of mutual interest by researching the person interviewing you. Nearly everyone has an online presence in social media. Perhaps you’ll come across a personal blog and discover you share a hobby or pastime. Another possibility is uncovering the interviewer’s whitepapers and articles about the future direction of the company or the industry at large.
“Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”
The days of the printed newspaper are (almost) over. However, the concept still holds true: find out news about the company and weave that into your interview. This strategy is far superior to looking at the company’s website, which likely doesn’t keep up with the news. Furthermore, most of your competitors are merely relying on the “about us” and “company history” pages.
Search Google news to see what the business is working on, about to launch, or just delivered that won industry recognition. In the interview, use what you’ve discovered to speak to the company’s pain points and hot buttons. Align your particular brand of skills and expertise with the priorities in the organization right now.
Be the man (or woman) with a plan
One of the key reasons companies look to recruit new people is to take advantage of those hires’ fresh ideas. Your role in the interview, then, is to offer up some of the sizzle, to give an indication of how tasty (effective) the steak (you) will be in the actual job. Leverage what you’ve learned in your Google news research to take things a step further.
Present a simple plan. It can be a one-page strategy sheet or a six-slide PowerPoint illustrating your view of where the company’s headed, and your specific recommendation for getting there. If the business is looking to enhance its reputation for delivering a good client experience, discuss your strategy for improvement in that area. You need not lay out their next three-year comprehensive business plan. Simply touch on one area of expertise and demonstrate how you would apply it.
The most impressive interview candidates dedicate the time to getting to know the interviewer and the company long before arriving in person, and can confidently demonstrate how their skills will contribute to the business rising to the next level. Use these strategies to turn your next interview into an offer.