As a job tool, you just can’t beat the power of LinkedIn. With numerous ways to display your skills and core competencies, the site allows you to be found by hiring managers and recruiters, with little effort on your part.
However, using it incorrectly can actually reduce your chances of being hired. Here are three common pitfalls to avoid when setting up and using a LinkedIn profile for your job search:
1. Failing To Use All The Space Provided
You’re guilty of this if your summary is comprised of just a few sentences, your work history only includes titles, or you skipped sections like Interests or Specialties. These are valuable pieces of data that not only educate readers on your career, but also serve to boost your search-ability.
In addition, you’ll receive a not-so-gentle reminder from the site that says your profile is not 100% complete—which tells you that LinkedIn needs this data for keyword purposes.
2. Mistaking A Resume Summary For A LinkedIn Summary
The LinkedIn summary area was designed primarily to present a snapshot of your brand and value proposition. However, many people mistake this area for the resume summary of qualifications, and insert that same, long-winded paragraph in this section.
However, LinkedIn profiles aren’t meant to be scanned like documents! In order to get the best results from your profile, you’ll need to apply web copywriting principles, writing a more personalized, bullet-point account of your background and qualifications.
Break up the text visually so employers can quickly scan through for key words, and consider adding decorative bullet symbols for easier readability.
3. Presenting Data Inconsistent With Your Traditional Resume
There’s no way around it – employers will be trolling the web for information about you, even if you’ve already sent your resume to them to review. The problem arises when your job history, education, or achievements appear differently online than on paper.
Here’s how to spot discrepancies: print out both your resume and your LinkedIn profile, reviewing the facts you’ve listed (such as job dates, education, job titles, employer names, etc.) side-by-side. If you omitted an older job or unrelated degree from your resume, for example, then make the same change to your profile.
Reviewing your profile this way also allows you to see if it delivers the same value proposition message as your resume. If you missed mentioning highlights of your career (such as metrics on revenue generated or cost savings), you can incorporate this data back into the profile so it aligns with your brand.
In summary, getting hired today requires a strong online identity. If you haven’t spent much time on your LinkedIn profile, it’s a good idea to revisit it and improve your web presence by confirming you’re not making any of the above LinkedIn profile errors.
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