Are you relying on a resume alone? The modern job market has grown more complex than that. Over 300,000 users populate LinkedIn alone and this upswing has made it a prodigious tool for employers and recruiters alike. However, if you just slap together a profile and let it stagnate, you may be repulsing employers before you get a chance to talk.
1.) Is your photo missing or unprofessional? Your LinkedIn photo is your first impression. Professional websites require professional photos. What doesn’t work?
• No Image At All – It makes one person indistinguishable from everyone else.
• A Blurry Photo – Fuzzy photography, even if taken yesterday, makes an image appear dated.
• An Unprofessional Photo – A LinkedIn profile picture is a marketing tool. It needs to fit your field and professional personality.
A crisp, well-lit headshot is most effective. If you really want to jump out, stick to bright colors that don’t clash on the color wheel.
2.) Is your headline sending the wrong message? Employers scrolling through LinkedIn profiles are going to only see profile pictures, headlines, and a few keywords. Hopefully, your picture is already doing its part, but is your headline up to snuff. What isn’t working?
• Obscure Job Titles – Searchable job titles predict what employers need. Anything else gets overlooked
• “Unemployed” – This is a limiting label. It implies that unemployment is your permanent state of being.
• “Looking for New Opportunities” – Once again, this fails to tell people what you can achieve.
A good headline entices employers. It encourages them to read onward with clarity and the right amount of keywords.
3.) Do you neglect your best keywords? Recruiters & employers don’t stumble upon an account by happenstance. Rich keywords help them catch a whiff of a good LinkedIn profile. A lack of rich keywords will keep even great candidates lingering on the fringe. What doesn’t work for keywords?
• A Total Absence – No or too few keywords means a page is unlikely to show up in any search.
• Oversaturation – Profiles that spam their page with keywords. Saying SOX, iOS, or Six Sigma 100 times in a row is just an act of self-sabotage.
• Overused Words – In 2013, the most used keyword across profiles was responsible. Pick keywords with traction, not bald tires.
Additionally, keywords shouldn’t exist in a quarantine. They need to live and breathe in each job where they were used. It proves your knowledge isn’t just academic.
4.) Have you neglected your accomplishments? As with resumes, some LinkedIn profiles focus too much on the day to day activities. Accomplishments have more heft for employers. Are you sharing your accomplishments in the wrong way?
• Neglecting Numbers – Growth statistics, monetary ROIs, or even increased users are more eye-catching than words alone.
• Never Updating Your Profile – As you attain new accomplishments, feel free to shout it to the world. Waiting until the start of a new job search may isolate those details in the distant past.
• Sounding Egotistical – A new accomplishment doesn’t have to be all about you. Show the value for the company and it’ll sound less like bragging.
A good LinkedIn profile even goes so far as to include a job seeker’s best cumulative accomplishments in the summary. It’s a good way to start any profile off right.
On a Final Note:
Are you relatively inactive? Even with all of these techniques in use, a LinkedIn profile may fail to garner attention. Regular activity is a huge part of that. To keep regularly attracting employers, a good LinkedIn account is regularly updated, posts in groups, and shares content with others.
by James Walsh