LinkedIn is undoubtedly the leading online job tool available for executives in their online job search. However, even with member totals exceeding 330 million, it still remains one of the most underutilised pieces of apparatus by professionals using it to find a job. Make sure your profile is optimised completely by going through this list of 10 common blunders job hunters make on their LinkedIn profile. [Tweet “10 Costly Mistakes Job Hunters Make on Their LinkedIn Profile via @careerintel”]
1. Not Updated Their Profile To start, lets cover the basics, as it is usually the first point that will cause you not being found as high as you should be within keyword searches. You must have an executive summary. You must have all of your positions filled out. You must have your education listed. Without these core fundamental sections added to your profile you decrease the chances of being found. Even if your profile is found, what will be on there to stand out? Make sure it is filled out in as much detail with as much care as your CV.
2. No Profile Picture This is my biggest pet hate. A profile with a photo receives up to 11 times more views. Recruiters hire people. Not silhouettes.
3. Upload Their CV to Their Profile You want your LinkedIn profile to be a teaser into finding out more about you encouraging them to get in contact and speak with you directly. If you upload your CV you give them nothing else to ask questions about. Your LinkedIn profile should compliment your CV so try to avoid copying word-for-word your CV as well. The way I would suggest to format your profile would be to have key duties and responsibilities in 2-3 paragraphs/sentences. Then under that have 2-3 bullet points of key quantifiable highlights you achieved whilst at the position. In short, the responsibilities help within the LinkedIn search engine. The highlights are what draw the attention from the recruiter. By all means, use your CV as a basis of all information you put on here, but mix it up, change the structure and include some more buzzwords to help improve your rankings within the keyword search. Here is an example:
4. Contact Information Not Updated Here is a question. If a recruiter likes your profile, how will they contact you? Here is another question. How would you want them to contact you? A phone call would be the most efficient way, for both yourself and the recruiter. So why not include your number on your profile. If you don’t want your phone number on there, include a preferred email address you check regularly. There are two sections where you can do this, but I suggest uploading them at the top of your page in the “contact info” section. While you’re at it, include your Skype ID as well. Especially if you are looking for jobs oversees. Adding your twitter, blog and company website won’t hurt either.
5. Wrong Location Set on LinkedIn Ever wondered why you are still getting job offers from the UK despite being in Dubai? It is probably because you haven’t changed locations on your profile. Recruiters usually source candidates from a particular location, so ensuring your location is set to where you are looking for a job is vital to guarantee you are feature within the search results. Until LinkedIn have GPS location on their profiles, you’ll have to change it manually. Cheat Tip: if you are about to move to a specific location, why not cheat and change your location already?
6. Wrong Industry Set On Their Profile Most people do this on accident and is the most frequent mistake I see. You want to indicate the industry of your profession, not the industry your company is in. For example, if you are a CFO for a large healthcare company, you want to put your industry as Financial Services as opposed to Healthcare. Why this is important is becayse the headline section of your profile holds the most weight in regards to the keyword search. If finance does not come up at all within the headline of your profile you are losing significant places within the rankings of keyword searches.
7. Not Connected with Headhunters and Recruiters It is a personally preference whether you want to be connected to lots of people (to increase the likelihood of being found) or being rather discreet with who you connect with. Either way, not being connected with headhunters/recruiters is a big faux pas! Being connected with headhunters can prompt them to look at your profile. It will allow you to show up higher in their search results as 1st connections tend to rank higher than 2nd and 3rd connections. Additionally, recruiters usually have a huge network of connections that can help increase your own network. You become the benefactor of their large network by connecting with them, as you now become 2nd and 3rd connections to their connections, increasing the searches you can now be found in.
8. Not Joining Relevant Groups Similar to having lots of connections, being a member of many groups can improve your network astronomically. You may not be connected to anyone in a 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree way, however, if you are part of the same group you still have the ability to find their profile (and vice versa) within the advanced people search. Additionally, recruiters and headhunters will look to see if you are a member of relevant groups when looking to place you to a vacant position. Even better, if they can see you are being active within the group, this can help prove your expertise and show you are keeping up to date with the latest trends affecting your line of work.
9. Privacy Settings Set To “Anonymous” Don’t you hate it (if you have a basic profile) when you look at “who’s viewed your profile” and it shows “anonymous?” If you are looking for a job and your profile is set to anonymous when you view peoples profile you are missing an opportunity for people to view your profile back. Make sure you turn these settings to full visibility so they can click your profile after you have visited their profile. To find out how to do this, go to the settings of your LinkedIn and select the highlighted area “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.” Then make sure it is set to the top option as shown:
10. Not “Publishing” on LinkedIn A blog is the best way to present yourself as a thought leader on LinkedIn. It helps you tackle the problems affecting your industry under the public spotlight, increasing your reputation amongst peers and likeminded professionals. LinkedIn has updated a feature to allow everyone to be “publishers” on LinkedIn and blog, right within their very own profile. This can be very effective for someone searching for a job, as it is a way for a recruiter to understand the foresight you have and current ideas you have within the industry. If you have been out of a job for quite some time, this is a great way to show you are remaining proactive, justifying your expertise. Make sure you only post the very best articles; sloppy articles can work in exactly the opposite way.
Make sure you update your profile regularly so they are void of these mistakes. If you need help with any of the above, get in contact with one of our relationship managers today to discuss options to increase your visibility online.