LinkedIn has remained super important to the advancement of so many professionals, so don’t miss out on all that LinkedIn has to offer! Incorporate these tips and suggestions into your profile today.
Wanna know something cool? Like, really cool? I received a job offer on LinkedIn without applying or doing anything! HOW?? It’s all because I had an amazing LinkedIn profile!! Seriously! A recruiter found me via LinkedIn and that’s what started the process that had me with a job offer for $60,000 right out of school.
So, let’s go over 5 mistakes you’re making on your LinkedIn profile, plus how you can fix them quickly.
Mistake #1 — Not Enough Keywords
Mistake #1 is that you aren’t using enough keywords. Keywords should be used EVERYWHERE. SEO, or search engine optimization, is a term you might have heard and it basically means keywords and other data that are on a website that help it pop up in search results. This same principle applies to your LinkedIn profile and when recruiters search for potential candidates! Keywords should live within your headline (which we’ll cover in a minute), your “about” section, and your job/experience descriptions.
Strategically adding keywords to your LinkedIn profile can elevate you in search results by going beyond simply listing job titles or career experience. Those are great, but it’s important to jam pack the descriptions for each of your experiences with keywords that are specific to your industry. Struggling to find those keywords? Check out job postings of your targeted companies or positions, and from there you can start finding new ways of describing your past experience that will more closely match future growth opportunities.
Avoid some of the most common and overly-used keywords and phrases, such as “detail-oriented”, “team player”, “problem solver”, or “creative thinker”. They scream “duh!” when reviewed by recruiters or hiring managers, so don’t bore them… instead, target them with keywords they want to see! You should also make sure these keywords are “transferable”… meaning they are applicable to a variety of job opportunities, and not just one specific job that only exists at one company.
While you are also working on your keywords, keep in the back of your mind whether or not they are “skills” that you can add to the skills section of your profile to further solidify your experience and attractiveness as a potential candidate.
Remember: never lie or misrepresent your experience. Just don’t.
Mistake #2 — Uninspired Headline, About, & Job Descriptions
Mistake #2 is that your headline, bio and job descriptions are not captivating! Strip away everything about your profile and consider your headline and name. What does it say about you? It should be more than the standard “current job” that automatically loads. You should have a jam-packed “About” section and maximize each of your experience descriptions.
Max out the number of characters allowed in your profile “about” summary! Creatively weave keywords into this section, too, so that your profile ranks high in search results for recruiters.
Every description section of each of your experiences should be filled out…. No blanks! As a starting point, copy and paste the bullet points from your resume. From there, you can expand on certain words or bullet points to incorporate keywords. The goal should be to highlight the work you accomplished, goals you achieved, and progress you’ve been making towards your future career aspirations (yes, even while still in your current role!).
If you’re unsure of where to even begin with this step, take a look back at the original job or internship description for your role. Can you copy and paste that into the description field to start somewhere? Ideally, it would be a true reflection of your actual workload. It’s a great starting point because that’s an actual role description that someone put out into the world based on their needs and based on the fit for their business. It’s very likely that the same need is shared within other organizations.
Mistake #3 — Unprofessional Photo
Mistake #3 is that you aren’t using a professional photo. That means no shoulders or hands of others that you’ve cropped out of the picture. No pixelated photos, either. I don’t care how amazing you may look in that holiday photo from 3 years ago!
According to LinkedIn, having a profile photo can get you 21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests!
Smartphone cameras are now advanced enough that you can get a quality, professional-looking headshot using something like Portrait Mode that will apply either a digital bokeh, or focus, effect or use the phone’s camera lenses to give you a nice blurred background.
Also, make sure you are uploading an image that fits well within a circular profile photo slot. You don’t want to have awkward cropping or weird white or black edges.
Mistake #4 — No “All-Star” Status
Mistake #4 is that you haven’t reached LinkedIn’s official “All-Star” status on your profile. As you work on your LinkedIn page, you’ll see that LinkedIn offers you tips and suggestions for making your profile better. This includes completing as much of the additional fields that LinkedIn offers.
According to LinkedIn, reaching any level of “All-Star” will help you “see more relevant feed updates and receive more profile views.” So, it’s safe to assume the LinkedIn algorithm favors profiles that have “All-Star” status, or at least knows how to better serve them to other users on the platform.
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Mistake #5 — Outdated information
Go ahead and schedule a quarterly recurring reminder or calendar event so that you remember to revisit your LinkedIn profile and update it! It only takes 10–15 minutes and can do wonders for your career potential.
The more you keep your profile updated, the more LinkedIn’s algorithms will know how to best serve your profile to recruiters and potential connections. Also, it helps ensure your LinkedIn feed is populated with the most relevant content, with which you can engage to further increase your visibility across the platform.
BONUS TIP: Let recruiters know you are looking! Turn on the feature that lets them know you are open and interested in opportunities.
Have any additional tips you’d recommend? Share them in the comments below! I’m also happy to answer any questions, so drop those down below, too. Hit the “like” button if you liked this story and consider following me.