With 575 million users across the globe, LinkedIn has become a necessary tool for professionals actively looking for their next career opportunity. While having a great LinkedIn profile can certainly help you stand out during the hiring process, failing to use the site properly can hurt your chances of being called in for an interview. Because of this, you’ll want to know the LinkedIn faux pas that can serve as a red flag in the eyes of a hiring manager.
In order to have a LinkedIn profile that catches a hiring manager’s eye for the right reasons, be sure you aren’t committing any of these potentially damaging LinkedIn mistakes:
Using an inappropriate photo
As you begin revamping your LinkedIn profile, keep in mind that a profile without a picture is seen as an immediate red flag to other users. However, using an inappropriate picture can ultimately be worse than not having a picture at all. Since LinkedIn is geared toward building a professional identity, be sure that your profile picture looks professional and aligns with the online brand you want a potential employer or a new connection to associate you with.
Not expanding on professional experience
The ‘Experience’ section on your LinkedIn profile should closely mirror your resume. However, on LinkedIn, you’re no longer confined to one page. This means you can add more detail under positions where you’ve done a lot, and you may even want to potentially eliminate older positions entirely.
In addition to talking about your work experience, you can show it visually. If you have any presentations, photos, or other visuals that could assist in conveying your best work, be sure to upload the files that can show an employer what you’re really capable of accomplishing.
Overusing buzzwords to get noticed
There are a variety of buzzwords used throughout the professional realm, which over time, have become less of a help in standing out. While being a ‘creative’ and ‘motivated’ ‘problem solver’ might sound good to you, an increasing number of job seekers rely on the same buzzwords to get noticed on LinkedIn.
Instead, focus on optimizing your profile with relevant keywords. After you complete each part of your profile—including your headline, summary, and experience—identify the areas where you can naturally add targeted keywords that are relevant to your skills and industry. This will help ensure your profile can be found by your targeted audience.
Not being active on the site
You need to be an active member of the community if you want to leverage all the benefits of a good LinkedIn profile. To engage with other LinkedIn users, join groups, like and comment on posts, follow industry leaders, and participate in discussions. By increasing your activity, you will increase traffic to your personal page and become more visible on the main home feed.
About the Author:
Edward Fleischman is the CEO of The Execu|Search Group, a leading recruitment, temporary staffing, and workforce management solutions firm headquartered in New York City with additional offices throughout the U.S. With over three decades of experience, Edward regularly advises employers on strategic senior-level hiring, structuring of compensation packages, and human resources issues.
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