The 8 Major Blunders Leaders Make on their LinkedIn Profiles
Do you have a LinkedIn strategy?
Have you been contacted by a recruiter while looking for a new job?
It is important for you to understand that when recruiters and headhunters are looking for candidates, they don’t rely much on advertising. Some have discovered that the candidates they sourced themselves were more suitable than those who passively sent in their CV.
To generate a pool of suitable candidates, some recruiters have spent some quality time actively searching for top talent using internal databases and tools such as LinkedIn, Boolean searches on job boards, and other social media to help not only to identify but also to reach out to higher calibre prospects.
If you are not being contacted by recruiters it might be because your digital presence is not working in your favor – and LinkedIn might just be the biggest part of the problem. Your LinkedIn profile may be hurting your job search, meaning that you may need to rethink it. Here are some hints and tips on how to rethink your profile:
Considering your LinkedIn profile as your CV:
Except for not having a LinkedIn profile, this is perhaps the biggest mistake job seekers actually make. It is understandably tempting to simply copy and paste into an online presence a CV that you have taken hours to craft into perfection. But this is wrong and that is why you should resist the temptation to do it for a number of reasons.
For starters, your LinkedIn profile and your CV audiences are not the same, meaning the two groups need to see different things. Besides that, you are actually missing an important chance to let your personality to be seen. LinkedIn is not as formal as a CV and that is why it is perfectly in order and even necessary to shed more light on who you actually are and what distinguishes you. Your LinkedIn profile is a vital piece of marketing content, hence it is important that you treat it as such and try to get it right.
Your LinkedIn job history and your CV don’t match
A LinkedIn job history that does not match a candidate’s CV can be a big red flag to recruiters and may cause the applicant to be brushed aside. This is because most recruiters do not have time to dig deeper in order to find out why. Some candidates don’t know how to group experience so as to provide an effective message that work for both their LinkedIn and CV.
Although you may mismatch your details for innocent reasons, think of the kind of unspoken message it might send. It may give an impression that you are not keen on details, lazy, or totally dishonest. You can see how it is important for you to ensure that the job titles, firms, and dates of tenure in your CV and LinkedIn profile match. If you are not sure about how you can effectively group jobs or contracts to help you communicate your experience truthfully and effectively, it is advisable for you to consult recruitment and marketing specialist. They can take a big picture view and assist you in effectively defining and communicating your main value addition.
Your headline is stuffed with throwaways
The toughest working part of LinkedIn is your headline as it offers great value in merely 100 characters.
When it comes to the headline, every word counts (you have 100 charactors). The headline is for two purposes: to make sure that you appear in the recruiters’ search results by using the correct keywords, and to lure the recruiters to click on your profile by making sure that your headline is striking.
For instance, if you are looking for a “Food Recruiter” position of a consumer brand, ensure that you use job titles and industry terms, as well as important skills and qualifications because these are what the recruiters are using in their search. They are not using throwaway terms such as “professional” or “high performing”.
Here is how to change your LinekdIn Headline
- Click the Me icon at top of your LinkedIn homepage.
- Click View profile.
- Click Edit icon next to your profile picture.
- Type your changes into the Headline text box.
- Click Save.
You are Scared of Being Amazing
When it comes to LinkedIn profiles, managers and executives have the tendency to play it a bit too safe, which is wrong. Imagine the kind of people you love to work with and how you conduct yourself at work. Of course you envisage individuals who are lively, warm, hilarious, empathetic, and inspiring. You need to ask yourself whether those qualities are portrayed in your LinkedIn profile.
When job seekers start describing themselves, they seem to choose, out of fear, descriptions that are very boring which they consider to be “safe”. You need to bear in mind that recruiters go through hundreds of sleep-inducing LinkedIn profiles every month so you should spare them additional boredom.
If you are the kind of person who lights up the room, then go ahead and make your LinkedIn profile interesting by including personal particulars as well as insights about the kind of professional you are. You should use the first person because third person does not sound friendly – it is actually very formal and stiff.
You should allow people to have an idea about what you are really like to work with. That is why it is important to include hints about who you are and the reason you do what you do. For instance, this may be a story about what influenced you to choose your career. If your management style is kind of relaxed, open door, it is okay to let people know that. Also, if you are known for keeping things fun in the office even during those high-pressure times you should not be afraid of letting it be known.
Your LinkedIn profile cannot be scanned
People have been advised to acquaint themselves with the word and character limits of LinkedIn and make use of the allocated space in telling their story. However, from a recruiter’s viewpoint, this is a very wrong advice. Why? Because recruiters don’t have the time to dig through your LinkedIn to get details that are important to them. Recruitment is both a high-volume and high-pressure role, and most recruiters are always pressed for time. They will take 30 seconds to scan your profile after which they will either pick up the phone to call you or click the back button on their browser.
You should go for quality rather than quantity and ensure that you actually write with a limited attention span in mind. Here, rules of writing for the web apply: short, clear paragraphs, with short sentences that are not also very long or dense.
Ensure that your profile comprises of keywords such as job titles and industries which the eyes of the recruiters are scanning for, and content that is personality driven for it to be interesting. Use paragraphs and bullet points to define duties along with achievements (include facts and figures) as these tend to naturally draw attention.
Too Much Information (TMI)
Bear in mind that the moment your LinkedIn profile is published, anybody can access it. Obviously, you should not reveal competitive or exclusive information on your profile. This is why it is not advisable to over share some information that may make some recruiters question your integrity and professionalism.
Leave out anything you are not sure about and keep off sensitive information. This includes:
- Employee performance problems
- Tackling issues created by either a predecessor or another person in the firm
- Touchy relationships or administrative culture problems
- The current commercial initiatives, for instance expansion into a fresh market, prospective business or redundancy programs
- Certain budget and revenue figures
You have not invested in the necessary effort
Creating an engaging, searchable, and click-worthy LinkedIn profile takes both time and effort. If you sat down one evening and rushed through the process of writing your LinkedIn profile, the odds are that you did it wrong. This could be affecting your job search.
Before you begin writing, you need to take time to outline not only your key value but your marketing “key messages” as well. To support these messages, you should think of examples plus achievements. It is recommended that you write a draft and walk away from your computer. You may edit it for spelling, grammar, keywords and content after a day or at least several hours. You can then get a trustworthy friend’s opinion – one who really knows you well personally and professionally to provide you with a feedback.
Keywords are key – if you in the Food or beverage manufacturing industry then make sure you put that to highlight your experience in that industry. Food Industry Recruiters like Citizen always search on Keywords.
You are Inactive on LinkedIn
This may seem to be obvious, but considering the fast-paced nature of the majority of managers as well as executives lives, it is worth repeating that the moment you have invested your time and energy in crafting an effective LinkedIn profile, it is important to actually make use of it.
Apart from adding your contact information (including a phone number or email address) in your profile in order to enable recruiters to contact you with ease, you should routinely check your LinkedIn box at the start or end of every business day to avoid missing opportunities.
To increase your network’s reach, you need to join groups for both your industry and function. This will help make it more possible for you to appear in recruiters’ keyword searches.
Here is another tip: think of writing and publishing blog posts to your LinkedIn profile related to your function and industry. You can also write on general professional topics like leadership. Recruiters find it difficult to resist clicking through “recent posts”. These show up with your name in search results as the listings with this feature actually pop up against various other results.