Over the years, LinkedIn has evolved to serve as a one-stop shop for employer branding, professionals looking to expand their networks, and job seekers looking for their next opportunity. Whether you’re just getting started, or you’re trying to find ways to enhance your profile’s reach, there are a number of mistakes LinkedIn users should avoid at all costs.
- Using an inappropriate photo
Whether you’re in the market for a job, or a working professional utilizing the site to expand your own network, a profile without a picture is seen as an immediate red flag to other users. Along similar lines, using an inappropriate picture can have a negative impact on how potential connections view your profile. Since this site is geared towards building a professional identity, be sure that your profile picture looks professional and aligns with the online brand you want a potential employer or connection to associate you with.
- Including your entire professional resume
While LinkedIn gives you the ability to list aspects of your professional background, job seekers should refrain from including every detail about their employment history. Employers aren’t as focused on your list of responsibilities as they are on the types of results you’ve produced in those roles. Therefore, highlighting your abilities by strategically using certain keywords can vastly improve your chances of a hiring manager clicking on your profile. Instead of listing your entire resume, consider adding writing samples or creating visuals that highlight your professional strengths and accomplishments.
- Connecting with everyone
In the world of LinkedIn, quality connections will go much further than the quantity of connections you have. Unfortunately, some job seekers and working professionals make the mistake of requesting to connect with everyone without introducing themselves. Simply having a lot connections won’t help to build your credibility in your respective field, so instead of focusing on the size of your network, try to engage with your current connections through sharing updates, liking or commenting other posts, or even volunteering to be someone’s mentor.
- Overusing buzzwords to get noticed
There are a variety of buzzwords used throughout the professional realm, which over time, have become more of a cliché than a differentiating factor. For example, 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. As a result, overusing certain buzzwords throughout your profile is not setting you apart, but instead, is putting you in the same crowd of every other ‘passionate’ job seeker on the site. Show results by focusing on clear actions and accomplishments.
- Not being active on the site
Being an active member and taking part in the LinkedIn community can make you a more credible resource in the eyes of a hiring manager or like-minded professional. Depending on your privacy settings, prospective employers and working professionals can see how you participate on the platform. To avoid being seen as someone who only wants to use the site for their own gain, we recommend ‘following’ thought leaders in your respective industry, offering to give recommendations and endorsements, or creating a video focused on your specialty area.