A LinkedIn profile can be a invaluable career resource and as it’s the largest professional networking site in the world, often the first stop for recruiters looking to find and connect with potential new hires. However while your LinkedIn profile can attract potential employers, it can also deter them. We’ve put together a list of 5 things to avoid when using LinkedIn.
Simply put, the more complete your profile, the better the chance of attracting potential employers. Once they’ve clicked on your profile they should be able to see your skill set, the previous companies you’ve worked for and recommendations from those you’ve worked with. Take the time to fill out every section of your profile to maximise its potential.
Missing or Unprofessional Pictures
Studies have shown that your profile is seven times more likely to be if viewed if it has a photo. When you meet a LinkedIn contact in person for the first time, they will be able to recognize you because of your photo. When you send a LinkedIn invitation to connect with someone you already know, they will feel comfortable accepting the invitation because they recognize your face.
Choose a clear, friendly, and appropriately professional picture. Try to avoid using an old picture of yourself or one that includes friends, families or pets. Always opt for a head shot as Linked In profile photos appear as small thumbnails and viewers may not be able to recognize you.
Eliminating Past Jobs or Volunteer Work
Even if you’ve changed fields, your latest job isn’t the only important one. While CVs are often tailored to reflect the position you are applying for, your LinkedIn profile gives you a chance to showcase your array of skills and experience. You don’t know what criteria employers are looking for, so you want your profile to be as strong as possible. Make sure your experience section is fleshed out with bullet points that describe what you did, how well you did it, and who it impacted.
Skipping Your Status
While Twitter or Facebook are the places to update friends and followers on your social life, your LinkedIn status is the perfect platform to update your network about your professional accomplishments and progress. Regularly updating your status keeps you profile fresh and shows you’re active and engaged. Whether you’re congratulating a colleague or sharing an article, regular updating your status keeps you connected with your network.
LinkedIn Groups are an important resource and they can do wonders for your job search. Join groups related to your profession or industry, you’ll show that you’re engaged in your field. But more importantly, you’ll instantly be connected to people and part of relevant discussions in your field—kind of like an ongoing, online networking event.