4 Mistakes Job Seekers Make on Their LinkedIn Profile
So you’re on LinkedIn. Your friend, neighbor and career coach have all convinced you that you using LinkedIn will decrease your job search time. You’ve built an excellent profile and you’ve added a bunch of connections now you’re waiting…to be hired. It’s not quite that easy. As a matter of fact you may be doing a few things that are turning recruiters and hiring managers away before they even get to your Experience section.
- Not Defining Yourself for Yourself. Ode to Audre Lorde! Poetic, but true. You must spend some time in reflection not just thinking about what you’ve done in the past, but what roles you want to attract in the future. You want to brand yourself for your future opportunities. Branding starts in your Professional Tagline. If you don’t edit your tagline it defaults to your current or most recent job title. If you have a generic title or one that does not speak accurately to your level of responsibility and the skills used, you might being doing yourself a huge disservice. You’ll notice that I have adjusted my tagline to include three key competencies that I enjoy using (transition assistance, career coaching and speaking).
- Being a Ghost: Not having a picture is a quick way to be overlooked on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is all about building and nurturing relationships. It is very difficult to do that if you’ve turned off all your notifications and don’t have a picture. Turning off all of your notifications reduces your communication to your network. Not having professional photo that shows what you look like at work is a missed opportunity to leave a lasting impression on a potential employer. Having a photo also makes you a welcoming and inviting possible connection.
- Begging: Your LinkedIn profile should answer the question, “What can you do for me?” A potential employer, recruiter or hiring manager should read your Summary and Experience sections and feel confident in your ability to solve their problems. Your profile is about how you can help…not what you need. I encourage clients not to state that they are unemployed in their heading. Being unemployed does not solve a problem for an employer. If you have clearly stated your brand and your skills, a recruiter has no problem enticing you away from a current employer.
- Not Customizing Your Address: Every LinkedIn profile has a unique web address or uniform resource locator, known as your URL. Your default LinkedIn URL works just fine without you paying any attention to it, BUT to maximize your URL you’ll want to customize it. Customizing my URL took it from www.LinkedIn.com/in/Andrea-Holyfield-34h9901 to www.LinkedIn.com/in/CareerProfessional. I decided to use a phrase in my URL that further speaks to my brand, but even if I would have simply removed all of the extra digits after my name I would have greatly improved the user ability of my URL. Now it’s clean and simple and I’ve used it on other branding pieces such as my resume and email signature line. Follow this link for instructions on customizing your URL: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/87
As with your resume, most people will only quickly scan your LinkedIn profile once you’ve come up in a key word search. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to network in the first ten seconds by not properly addressing your heading. Whether you’re currently job searching or networking to stay relevant and in touch with your contacts, LinkedIn magic begins in the heading. Avoiding these four mistakes are crucial!
Talk to you soon!