Top 3 LinkedIn Profile Mistakes Career Professionals Still Make in 2017

By now, every social media savvy professional knows that if they want to advance their career in 2017, they need to have a presence on LinkedIn. Social media has come of age enough that we know LinkedIn is not the place for Facebook-styled happy hour pictures or weekend romps down the coast. At least we have that much covered!

Sadly, I still come across many professionals who do not truly know how to use LinkedIn effectively to advance their career. As a result, I see many mistakes that could be hindering their chances for being discovered and/or selected for career-boosting opportunities. These are the top three offenders.

1 – Treating Your LinkedIn Profile as Your Duplicate Resume

LinkedIn certainly is the place for listing out your career achievements and highlights. But don’t forget it is still a SOCIAL network. So copying and pasting your resume into LinkedIn really defeats the purpose for a number of reasons:

  1. Resumes have a tendency to have a bit of robotic styled language. You’re still connecting with other human beings on LinkedIn so it’s okay to show some personality and to use the personal pronoun “I.”
  2. Putting every single point of your resume into your LinkedIn profile takes away a lot of the mystery. You should use your LinkedIn profile to entice a potential employer or opportunity giver to want to get to know you more and ultimately reach out to you and ask you for your resume.
  3. Savvy job hunters in today’s market know that you should always tailor your resume to the position you are applying for. It’s impossible to tailor for the broad audience that exists on Linkedin.  One specific way this tactic can work against you is if a potential employer thinks your “resume” is not a fit for their position, they’ll pass you over.  Best practice: give a broad overview of your roles, include industry keywords, and “tease” some of your accomplishments.  Make ’em work for it a little :)! 

2 – Setting Your LinkedIn Profile to Private Where Only Your Connections Can See Your Information

On LinkedIn, privacy is definitely the kiss of death. It will cause you to miss out on opportunities. You never know when an employer or recruiter is looking for someone with your exact skills and talents. But if your profile comes up and they cannot view it, they’re just going to move on to the next potentially well-qualified candidate.

Some people have valid reasons for setting their profile to private due to confidentiality agreements with their current place of employment. I can understand that, however, there are creative ways around it. I am constantly creating written “work-arounds” for professionals who come to me for resume and Linkedin profile help.

3 – Not Getting Recommendations

In case you haven’t noticed, that line that used to appear at the bottom of resumes years ago, “References available upon request,” has all but disappeared. For one thing, it is assumed that you will have references to provide when asked.

But there’s another reason for the phenomenon. LinkedIn recommendations is the new “references available on-demand.” When recruiters and hiring managers search LinkedIn for potential candidates, they are definitely looking at all aspects of the profile, including recommendations. Having that public validation helps the recruiter or hiring manager to feel more comfortable about proceeding with inviting you into the interviewing process. It’s very likely that should you go far, you might not be asked for any references because they’ve already seen them. You should still be prepared to offer one or two references they can speak with.  But no matter the end result, having that public validation in the first place can only help you.

Having your recommendations visible on your LinkedIn profile helps you by reducing the need to hunt down people every time you’re looking for a new position. They would have already shared what they had to say and it’s viewable for all in perpetuity.

Hopefully, you are not currently making these three mistakes.  But if you are, drop everything right now and make some changes! If you are serious about unleashing the full networking power of LinkedIn and want to turbo charge your profile, ask me about my Linkedin Profile Review and LinkedIn Profile Rewrite services.

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