Using a social media platform like LinkedIn comes with professional responsibility. Recruiters, CEO’s, hiring decision-makers, and staff communicate daily on LinkedIn. These are the professionals any job seeker should want to communicate with to get a job.
However, there are mistakes you can make that will hurt your chances of finding work through LinkedIn. Learn what they are and how to avoid them.
Treating your profile as a typical online job application
Filling out a LinkedIn profile is nothing like filling out an online job application. If all you do is fill out the fields, your profile becomes boring. People hiring want to learn something about you. Your experience is just the trail you blazed. Show on LinkedIn how you became a trailblazer.
Show your personality. Tell your story. Be unique and remember that social “media” is a form of “media”. In media, things like professional images, headshots, videos, graphics, testimonials, and portfolios of work show how much effort you are willing to put into telling your story. It works in your favor.
Writing in a typical resume template language
We all know the typical resume language:
LinkedIn can involve those words at some point, but filling your profile out with what you exactly have on your resume is a mistake. It looks like you are not willing to tell a story and just copying and pasting without any thought.
Note: What you have on your resume and LinkedIn profile must be a “fact check” of one or the other. Information on a resume that is different from LinkedIn (ex: different college degrees or job titles) looks like you have a difficult time being honest.
Awkward career focus
Some people have career experience in various industries and career paths. They also have had various job titles and job descriptions. So, if a recruiter looks at your profile and cannot figure out what you want to do, they will not spend the time to figure out for you. If they interview you, they will certainly ask, “What do you want to do exactly?”
Unfortunately, people looking at social media will never stop to ask, “Why?” It is quicker to make judgments and move forward. What you want to do is have your profile show a form of “career progression”. Show when your skills were transferrable enough for you to switch industries, and if possible, how you did it.
To avoid the question of career focus, some have chosen to have two LinkedIn profiles; one for each career path. They slowly phase out the older profile as time goes by. Others have chosen to simply leave irrelevant information off a LinkedIn profile and resume, too.
The headline is the first thing people see. Put it to good use. Avoid phrases that are either too boring or too silly. Some associate “professional” with “boring”, but you can be professional with unique headlines (see image). Silly phrases would include things like, “CRM Hero!”
Instead, try something like this below to improve your LinkedIn headline:
Not using job-related keywords in your profile
How will people know you work in a certain industry if you do not have the right words in your profile? Job titles are not everything. The keywords are the meat of your profile that gets you found when people do searches and LinkedIn recommends jobs.
Not using LinkedIn and never connecting
Right under your headline on LinkedIn is a number. It shows your location and the number of connections you have up until 500. If you have a number like the one seen below, it shows you are worth connecting with for networking:
Ultimately, the worst mistake you can make when looking for work is deciding not to use LinkedIn. More than 94% of recruiters use it to screen job seekers, and for that reason alone, it is worth having a profile. Not doing so, may just cost you a job without you ever knowing.