Is Your LinkedIn Profile Doing Your Job-Hunting Harm?

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

Check your LinkedIn Profile – today – before it damages your precious employment opportunities.

I love LinkedIn. I write about it a lot because it is THE online tool for finding work, finding new clients/suppliers and getting involved in professional interests. LinkedIn Groups are ace! According to this study, LinkedIn has helped 41.4% of surveyed members with researching people and companies. Employers and candidates are turning to LinkedIn to connect and build relationships. But it isn’t Facebook.

Our LinkedIn Profile page is a primary sales tool – for whatever we want to promote – so it’s got to be polished and it has to represent us perfectly. It is your online résumé. Your LinkedIn Profile is a summary of your Personal Brand – treat it this way.

Ask yourself this: would you be happy to share your LinkedIn Profile page with all your friends, family, co-workers and potential employers? If not, then you must act quick.

What to look for:

  1. Does your LinkedIn profile align to your résumé? Does your experience map onto your résumé and describe the same experiences? A recruiter will look at your résumé AND your LinkedIn Profile. If they don’t match it will provoke feelings of doubt and your résumé will be committed to the waste paper basket.
  2. Does your LinkedIn Profile align to your job type? If you’re in an operational role, your LinkedIn Profile shouldn’t portray you as a change practitioner, for example. This could confuse recruiters and you could miss opportunities if you’re not pitching yourself in the right way.
  3. Are you proud of your LinkedIn Profile photograph? Does it make you appear friendly, welcoming and a potential asset? If you are not happy with your photograph, then get a new one. Ask your family and friends to take many photographs in a variety of situations and choose the best one. Sometimes, the casual photos work well, rather than something posed. I don’t consider myself photogenic so I looked through countless of photos before I found an image of myself that I was comfortable in sharing. Like me, you can crop photos or adjust a photo, using Photoshop or a free editing tool such as Gimp. Don’t be shy!
  4. Does your LinkedIn Profile Summary provide a high-impact summary of who you are and your achievements? Don’t be satisfied with a limp, watered-down Summary, as this will demonstrate to recruiters that YOU consider yourself as mediocre. Write it, and then rewrite it over and over until you get it just right. Write your achievements so they share your involvement and what resulted.
  5. Are there gaps in your LinkedIn Profile Experience? It’s OK to have been away from work on sabbaticals or round-the-world trips. In fact it’s great. But don’t ‘hide’ these from your profile – instead, celebrate them and disclose what you were up to during these periods. What’s more, they will become excellent conversation-pieces during your interview.
  6. Do you have recommendations? Consider it from a recruiters perspective – if nobody is recommending you, what does this say? If you don’t yet have LinkedIn recommendations, then here is how to get them. I use this tactic frequently.
  7. Are you sharing good content – or damaging content? Consider your updates. You may have a well-crafted LinkedIn Profile but if you’re writing or sharing updates that are unprofessional or risqué then you’re harming your personal brand. A careless share can do untold damage to how you’re perceived.
  8. Does your LinkedIn Profile have searchable keywords? Recruiters look for specific keywords when scanning resumes – and LinkedIn Profiles too. Make it easier for them, and use relevant and appropriate keywords on your profile. In fact LinkedIn helps you do this by suggesting keywords when you’re updating your Profile. For example, if you have experience in management reporting, then use keywords such as Data Analytics – or ‘Big Data’ if that’s what you have done.

How does your LinkedIn Profile look? Does it put you in the best possible light?

Could yours be better, but you’re not sure how? Ask a question by leaving a comment below, or start a discussion in my Community Forums.

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