LinkedIn has been proven to help job seekers land faster and gain more opportunities. Many people fail to access the power of LinkedIn. In my work with my Design Resumes clients, I find five things to be the most common issues or errors. Fortunately they are easy to fix.
LinkedIn Failure #5 - Sounding Desperate
When you put “seeking a new opportunity” in your headline, it sounds desperate. I believe in leading with your strengths. Someone in the comments of an article I was reading on LinkedIn said that a recruiter told him that it helps that recruiter to know who is available. This just sounds like one recruiter’s opinion and a lazy one at that. Recruiters make their money by finding matches but they are not supposed to look for the easy hit. The reason companies hire recruiters is because they can’t find the applicants on their own. Lead with your strengths.
LinkedIn Failure #4 - Wrong Headline
Wrong headline, no headline, last job headline. This relates to Failure #1. The headline area of LinkedIn is the top section by your photo. I used to write 120 character branding statements but recently have started a modified strategy that takes the general title of the client and adds several key words that they are targeting. Here is a LinkedIn headline that landed a new promotion to President:
Dynamic eCommerce & Business Development Executive | Omni Channel Marketing | Strategic Planning | Process Improvement
Note the key words combined with a brief brand. The key words (Omni Channel Marketing | Strategic Planning | Process Improvement) have to fit the areas you are targeting and the branding statement has to describe what you bring to the table: Dynamic eCommerce & Business Development Executive.
LinkedIn Failure #3 - No Details
I review so many LinkedIn profiles that just list name, rank, and serial number. Successful job landers fill out the descriptions in each position with robust value that describes what they bring to the table. You have 2000 characters per position, put those characters to work for you.
LinkedIn Failure #2 - No Summary
Another missing area on many LinkedIn profiles. The summary is also a 2000 character area ripe for describing the value you bring, the areas of specialty that make you the right candidate, and labeled with key words that call out how you might contribute to the next role.
LinkedIn Failure #1 - Not connecting
Occasionally, I start with a new client who has a great LinkedIn profile but 13 or 42 connections. The value of LinkedIn is connecting with others to build your network and to access the networks of those you are connected with so if you don’t connect, you don’t achieve the value.
Your LinkedIn Photo
I didn’t list the photo as one of the failures but it often is one more area people fail to use properly. You need a photo in your LinkedIn profile. Not a mug shot or a pin-up photo but not necessarily a professional photo either. It should look professional but not necessarily be the suit look.
LinkedIn profile writing and coaching is part of many of my career marketing and resume writing packages. Partnering with a professional to create a branded career marketing presence has jump-started the job search for many of my successful clients. Don’t leave LinkedIn out of your career marketing!