Using a social media platform like LinkedIn comes with responsibility.
Recruiters, CEOs, hiring managers, and staff communicate daily on LinkedIn. These are the professionals a job seeker communicates 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 can be seen as the trail you blazed.
- Show on LinkedIn how you became a trailblazer.
- Show your personality.
- Tell your story in a unique way.
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 with "resume template" language
We all know the language used in writing the typical resume:
Your LinkedIn profile can involve those words, but filling your profile out with the exact same information that you have on your resume is a mistake.
It looks like you are not willing to tell a unique story.
Instead, you are copying and pasting without any thought.
Note: What you have on your resume and LinkedIn profile must provide a “fact check” of one against the other regarding the information you add.
In other words, information on a resume that is different from LinkedIn (different college degrees or job titles) looks like you have a difficult time being honest or making up your mind.
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 it 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 on.
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.
Options for changing careers
To avoid the question of career focus, some have chosen to have two LinkedIn profiles; they create 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 of their LinkedIn profile and resume altogether.
Having a poor headline
The headline is the first thing people see.
Make the most of it by putting it to good use!
Avoid phrases that are either too boring or too silly.
Some people associate “professional” with “boring,” but you can be professional with unique headlines (see image below).
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.
They will help you get discovered when people do searches.
They will also be effective when LinkedIn recommends jobs as you search.
Having no skills
On LinkedIn, you have the opportunity to let the world know your most relevant skills.
What is more, those to whom you are connected can endorse these skills.
You can add all kinds of skills, but choose only three featured skills.
Make sure you place your most relevant skills there.
It helps if these skills have many endorsements (see image below).
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.
For that reason alone, it is worth having a profile.
Not doing so may just cost you a job without you even knowing it.
Lacking direction and passion
Make an effort to let your passions and goals show through on your LinkedIn profile. Now, don't go and add all your pie-in-the-sky dreams.
There is a balance to be found.
But it wouldn't hurt to show that you know the direction you want to go in life and that you have a passion for reaching toward your goals.
Even if you have a unique mission, such as "Encouraging every parent to read aloud with their children," at least people know what is important to you.
And if you have no idea what direction you want to go or what you're passionate about, take some time to reflect on these important matters.
You might dream up a whole new direction in life.
If you'd prefer to leave your LinkedIn profile in the hands of professionals, we would love to help!
Find My Profession is a top-rated professional resume writing service with a focus on senior and executive-level job seekers.
We also offer a package that includes a LinkedIn makeover to help you learn how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile.
Job searching is hard enough as it is. The last thing you want to do is risk being passed up for your dream job because of an inferior LinkedIn profile.
Contact us today and see how we can help land your dream job.