You should use LinkedIn to help companies find your profile using language that aligns with your position or the one you want. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes when trying to market themselves on LinkedIn, so we’re here to help. Here are the red flags you should avoid in your LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn is the most popular social networking site for professionals, and it might be how you find your next job if your profile can impress a recruiter. Recruiters use LinkedIn to find qualified candidates for open positions to go beyond having resumes sent directly to them. Instead, these individuals seek the best person to fill the open role and help the company succeed. So if you’re looking for a job or just want to know more about the opportunities out there, you probably have a LinkedIn profile that highlights your experience and skill set.
Avoid in your LinkedIn profile having too many buzzwords can make you seem unapproachable to recruiters who may be looking for someone with the right skills rather than someone who uses the same boring words recruiters are used to seeing on resumes. Of course, recruiters will use target keywords when searching for candidates online, so you should include keywords but avoid too many buzzwords that recruiters see all too often. For example, “motivated” is seen on many resumes and LinkedIn profiles yearly.
Instead of using these types of words, consider the types of language used on job listings to describe an ideal candidate in your field. For example, you can use common language and terminology that potential employers use to describe their employees or the type of person they’re looking for to fill an open position.
Of course, looks aren’t everything, and you may be hesitant to upload a photo on your LinkedIn, especially if you’re a private person. However, experts agree you should always have a profile photo that makes you look professional, no matter what type of job you have. A profile photo helps recruiters click on your profile, but you must find the right photo to help you stand out. Casual photos are not recommended on LinkedIn because your profile will be viewed by recruiters, employers, and hiring managers who all expect you to look the same as you would when going in for an interview or while working in the office.
A good corporate headshot is the ideal profile photo on LinkedIn to help you stand out and make a statement about who you are. In your photo, you should look professional, clean up and manicured, and appropriately dressed. Avoid in your LinkedIn profile not having a photo that reflects the types of roles you’d like to have within an organization. A good photo will make you look like someone who would fit in with an employer’s current teams.
LinkedIn is a networking platform, so if you’re not doing any networking, it makes recruiters think twice about contacting you. However, if you’re actively looking for work, consider building your network to have at least 300 connections. Increasing activity on LinkedIn directly increases your visibility, so join groups, react to posts, and reach out to connect with co-workers to start building your network.
Not Having a Profile
Avoid in your LinkedIn profile… not having one! 🙂 Seriously, not having a profile is a huge red flag for employers. Many companies will not pick up the phone to schedule the first interview until they’ve seen your LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have one, they might skip over you because they don’t have enough information about you to determine whether or not they want to spend time interviewing you.
Invest the proper time and attention into creating a professional profile that can help recruiters and hiring managers to make the decision to pick up the phone.
Job hopping is a red flag for recruiters, whether on your resume or LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn gives you more room to explain why you’ve hopped jobs in the past. Recruiters dislike job hoppers because it makes them think that you’re not committed to your jobs or the companies you work for. While you know this is not the case, you must find a way to explain why you’ve had so many jobs in the last few years.
Of course, you don’t want to go too in-depth, but you can use your LinkedIn to explain why you’ve left jobs in the past to move to different opportunities. A good example of why someone might job hop is for professional growth and development that may not be available at many companies. Taking the time to explain why you were at a job for a short period of time can help recruiters understand what you’re looking for from your next employer.
Not Updating It
Avoid in your LinkedIn profile only updating when looking for a new job (which is what most people do). You should aim to update your positions, roles, and skills on LinkedIn every year. Of course, if your duties haven’t changed from year to year, you may be able to skip this process, but at the very least, you should check your profile every year to ensure that it’s accurate and up to date, highlighting any new skills you’ve learned in the last twelve months.
Not Listing Duties and Skills
Your LinkedIn profile is an extension of your resume, so it should have the same types of information. LinkedIn allows you to go a little more in-depth with your job summaries to explain who you are and your skills. If you don’t list your duties and skills and only list your positions, recruiters won’t be able to figure out if you’re fit for the open position. Since recruiters are trying to hire good employees to improve the business, your LinkedIn should list all of your current skills and job duties.
LinkedIn is a valuable tool for employees and employers. Not only can it help you see what opportunities are out there, but it allows you to obtain interviews and job offers passively whether or not you’re looking for a new job. Avoid in your LinkedIn profile not showcasing your skills; it will make it look incomplete and will hurt your chances of competing in the job market.
Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a freelance writer who shares knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, wellness, and financial tips. During her free time, she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music.