LinkedIn has become the go to platform for recruiters and employers to find new talent and learn more about you as a professional. Therefore, it is extremely important that your LinkedIn profile is perfected and free of errors if you want it to successfully aid you in your job search efforts. To build the perfect profile first you need to know what not to do. So, here are the top LinkedIn mistakes that ruin your chances of getting hired.
- No profile pictures
The importance of a profile picture is huge on LinkedIn. It is found on the top left of your page. Therefore, it is one of the very first items that are seen by anyone that visits your profile. It is also displayed in any activity that you take on the platform, whether you left a comment, made an update, changed your employment status, or wrote an article. Your profile photo should be a well-lit professional headshot with a neutral background. This ensures that it will be legible even in small sizes (like when it is featured in the comment section of a post). A missing or cluttered profile picture will hurt your chances of getting hired as it portrays a lack of interest and professionalism within the platform.
- A non-descriptive headline
LinkedIn automatically copies your latest employment position into your headline section, but it is always smart to revise and edit it according to how you want recruiters and employers to perceive you. Make sure that your headline is professional, descriptive, and attractive. Also, include keywords that communicate the type of positions that you wish to be hired for; this will help you attract the right type of recruiters to your profile.
- A blank about section
The about section gives you the opportunity to communicate who you are as a professional past your experience and qualifications. Here you can add information about your passions, personality, and soft skills. Make sure the first couple of sentences in the about section captivates the reader and persuades them to click the see more button.
- Employment inconsistencies
Many employers and recruiters will visit your profile after reading your resume, and any inconsistencies will make them doubt your employment history. Therefore, it is extremely important to build trust with your visitors by matching the dates and job titles of your LinkedIn with your resume.
- Inappropriate posts or comments
LinkedIn is not like any other social media. It is specifically designed to share your professional journey, not your personal life. If you post updates about your personal relationships, political views, or any other controversial topics, you will be perceived as an employment risk by recruiters and potential employers.
- Lack of engagement
Make a habit of posting updates about your professional activities, accomplishments, or new information regarding your field. Keep your profile up to date and reply to messages often. You never know what new opportunities will arise from a conversation with a new connection, so check your notifications and inbox regularly.
- Missing endorsements
The best way to make your skills credible on LinkedIn is through endorsements. Endorsements require real people in your connections to take the time to specify that you are capable in a specific skill. Therefore, listed skills that are endorsed by LinkedIn users will be more trustworthy to recruiters than those that are not endorsed.
- Basic URL
Did you know that your LinkedIn profile URL can be personalized? That’s correct! You do not have to keep the generic long URL that LinkedIn gives you. Make sure you change your URL for a shorter one that includes your full name. This will make it easier for users to find you on the platform.
- Missing background image
If you do not have a background image in your profile, you are missing a huge opportunity to tell your visitors more about yourself. The background image takes over the whole top part of your profile, and you can easily use this area to include a well-designed message that will captivate your visitors. Perhaps you can include an image of a quote that describes you, a picture of your best work, or a promotion to your website. You literally have unlimited options. If you do not have image manipulation skills, this is the best time to hire a graphic designer to make you a compelling background image.
- An incomplete profile
Every section in your LinkedIn profile serves a purpose. Therefore, if you have an incomplete profile, you are either hindering your searchability in the platform or are missing crucial information that persuades recruiters to contact you. Luckily LinkedIn has a task list and will let you know if there is information missing in your profile. Make sure you complete all the sections that LinkedIn asks of you and fill up that green bar at the top of your profile page.
Unlike other social media platforms, mistakes on LinkedIn can lower your chances of getting hired. This might persuade you to delete or make your account private but doing so can make you less desirable to recruiters and employers. Instead, it is better to use LinkedIn as a tool to portray your professional lifestyle, accomplishments, and desirable attributes. If used correctly, LinkedIn can even be as effective of a job search tool as your own resume.
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