Whether you are searching for a new job or satisfied with your current one, you should anyhow already have a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is much more than a simple tool for job search or a network for headhunters. If used properly it can help you grow your network, establish expertise in your field, get noticed, promote your business, increase leads and much more. In simple words, LinkedIn provides you an effective way to establish your personal brand or to promote your services/business.
Start by filling out your profile with all relevant information. Your profile is your resume! Type down all work experience, with detailed tasks and duties that you worked on. Don’t forget to highlight all your accomplishments and skills. When writing all of this, be sure to use key words. Be detailed! Complete all sections on profile. Ask for recommendations from your coworkers and previous employers. All of this is very important for the visibility of your profile and search ranking. It is not recommended to skip any of this steps or to leave them for later. Once you’ve created your profile, work is not done. You should update it all the time with new experiences, skills, qualifications and maybe online courses that you have finished in the meantime.
When building up profile on worlds largest business network (more than 400 million users), you should also avoid most common mistakes that people make. You never know who will come across it.
Profile photo mistakes
A picture speaks a thousand words. So put one on your profile. The biggest mistake is a LinkedIn profile without it. Why? First, it may be difficult to find you, especially if you have a common name. Also, it is proven that profiles with pictures have more views than ones without it. People want to connect with “real” people.
An equally bad choice is to upload an unprofessional photo: selfie, group photo, an old one from 5 or more years ago, from a night out, pet lover or a new mom photo, photo with bad resolution…
Grammar errors will question your credibility as a professional. They will question your expertise and your education. Last thing anyone want is to leave bad first impression to hiring managers or potential business partners. So before you publish a content on your profile, do a triple check. Minimum! Ask your friends to check it as well.
The biggest one, as with profile photo, is to leave a summary blank. Summary section should list your abilities, accomplishments, skills and interests. It is an intro to your profile, and it needs to be brief, concise and written to the point. Just like the cover letter when applying to the work position, the summary will determine if someone continues to read your profile.
Writing style mistake
Words count on LinkedIn a lot. Use the same style for all sections to avoid inconsistencies. Avoid slang and jargon, it is extremely unprofessional and it will turn potential clients/hiring managers away from you. Don’t write in third person. It is your profile, and it should be personal and show through words who you are.
Search engines use keywords to determine whether your profile will be in search results and how highly ranked. Don’t avoid them. Include keywords at least in one section of your profile. The most effective sections in LinkedIn to use them are: headline, summary, skills, experience and recommendations. Make sure to mention them throughout your profile. But don’t overwhelm your profile with keywords, it can be counterproductive and actually can lower your search ranking.
These are some of the most common mistakes people make when creating professional profiles on LinkedIn. Pay attention to avoid them, in order to present yourself in the right light. Opportunities are everywhere, right on the corner, or should I say on LinkedIn. One look, one click on your profile can make a big difference in your career path. So be prepared.
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Cover photo credit: William Iven / Unsplash