With all the talk about a recession lately, it’s important to be prepared should economic conditions worsen and lead to the loss of your job. You must be ready for anything that might come your way—positive or negative. And one area in which it's crucial to be prepared when it comes to the job search is your LinkedIn profile.
As the moderator for LinkedIn’s Premium Career Group that has over 1.6 million members, I see a lot of LinkedIn profile mistakes from frustrated job seekers. So, here, I've identified what I believe to be the seven most common LinkedIn profile mistakes that hinder job searches, along with remedies to fix each one.
Mistake #1: Not Listing a Current Position
When you don’t list a current position in your profile, your LinkedIn profile isn’t complete according to the nebulous LinkedIn Algorithm. Having a “current position” contributes to your profile being complete, which helps your profile show up in search results. What if you aren’t working? If you're between jobs, then fill out the current position section of your LinkedIn Profile with the type of job you're seeking, along with any consulting, volunteer, educational, or networking work you're doing during this break from paid work.
Mistake #2: Not Including a LinkedIn Photo—or Including a Bad One
People want to know who they're dealing with when interacting online. So be sure to include your photo on your LinkedIn profile. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s Business Blog Post titled, “Picture Perfect: Make A Great First Impression with Your LinkedIn Profile Photo,” a profile has 21 times more views and nine more connection requests with a photo than without one. And if it’s a bad photo (can’t see your face, bad background choices), it’s still better than no photo, but you have to wonder the damage you may be doing to your brand.
Mistake #3: Failing to Optimize Key Profile Sections
Your headline/tagline, your summary, your employment titles, and your skills section are the most important sections to keyword optimize for the jobs you're targeting. Failure to do so will hinder your chances of showing up in searches. It’s that simple. So be sure to keyword optimize these sections.
Mistake #4: Lamely Describing Yourself in Your Summary
You have 2,000 characters to vividly describe how well you do what you do. So use them and don’t be lame or lazy when describing yourself.
Mistake #5: Only Including Tasks in Your Employment Section
Your employment section for each job you have held is an opportunity to show the reader how well you did your job. Use a CAR formula (challenge, action, result) formula to create accomplishment-based bullets to describe your work at each employer. When everyone else is using tasks to describe what they do, you will comparatively shine.
Mistake #6: Not Getting Recommendations or Endorsements
This is so important to do before a recession and before you or your boss may be laid off. Get recommendations and endorsements before you need them. These are two different functions and equally as important. Having two to three recommendations help complete your profile, which, as already mentioned, helps you rank higher in LinkedIn search results. And endorsements of your skills helps you rank for those skill phrases—be sure to collect these before you need them!
Mistake #7: Thinking Your Profile Will Do All the Work
Once you fix all of these mistakes and have a wonderfully built profile, you can’t sit back and think the profile will do all of the work. It won’t. Think of a LinkedIn profile like a business card—just because you have a business card doesn’t mean you automatically obtain business, right? Same with a profile. You must work LinkedIn to get traction just as you must work to get business. So be sure to connect and network with people using LinkedIn. These connections you develop today will ultimately keep your career alive and thriving should the market turn downward. Be ready.
Lisa Rangel is the Founder and Managing director of Chamelon Resumes LLC (a Forbes Top 100 Career Website). She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, Job Landing Consultant, and Recruiter. Lisa is also a paid moderator for LinkedIn’s Premium Career Group, which has 1,300,000+ members. Chameleon Resumes reviews the goals of each client to ensure career documents serve their goals while meeting the needs of the prospective employers. Rangel has authored 16 career resources, and has an active YouTube Channel with regular tips and advice.
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