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5 Mistakes to Avoid on Your LinkedIn Profile

Entrepreneurship

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With well over 400 million users on LinkedIn, the site has become the number one site where recruiters (both independent and corporate) go-to source talent for open positions.  Just having a LinkedIn account won’t help if you’ve not fully developed your profile. While your resume should be the major source for your LinkedIn profile content, it should not be just a “cut and paste” of your resume.

Similarly, once your profile has been created, LinkedIn should be the first place you list major new accomplishments. Your profile then becomes the best source for keeping your resume up to date as well as informing friends, business acquaintances and recruiters of what you’ve been up to (not to be confused with Facebook updates).

While the vast number of LinkedIn users further validates the site as the “go-to” source for recruiting, it also complicates the age-old job search problem of  “getting noticed”. The “noise” of 400 million users can be overwhelming and just adding stuff to your profile will not (necessarily)  get you noticed. Adding the wrong stuff to your LinkedIn profile can be just as bad as not having a LinkedIn profile at all.

Buzzwords

You’ve done your homework and have managed to include the top 10 LinkedIn buzzwords in your profile. Job well done? No this is a BIG MISTAKE. You don’t want to be part of the crowd, you want to stand out from the crowd. Furthermore, your profile (and all of the “action” words you decide to use) should reflect your experience. The best advice for resumes does not necessarily work as well in your LinkedIn profile.  What to do?  Take a look at some of at this article – Understanding the Importance of Keywords in Your Job Search

Don’t Write a Biography

Hiring managers do not want to know how you helped “Save the Whales” (a very noble cause, but not for your LinkedIn Profile unless you are hoping to get a job at Sea World). Nor should your profile just be a regurgitation of every accomplishment you’ve ever achieved. Your profile should reflect accomplishments and skills that appeal to hiring managers. Think of it this way, if you were hiring your replacement, what would you want to see in their profile?  This resource is worth a look.

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Who’s Viewed Your Profile

If the answer is “no one”, then I’m thinking this is a pretty good indication your profile needs a rewrite. But besides the advice given above, there could be something fundamentally wrong with your profile if you are not getting any “hits” or they are very low. The first thing you should do is click the “Who’s viewed your profile” link. Some great stats here. The middle of the page shows the most recent viewers and the right-hand side of the page shows a neat graph of your profile views over the last few weeks/months. Directly below this is the “How many times you appeared in LinkedIn Search” stat along with the weekly change (increase or decrease).  Once you tweak your profile, you will want to keep an eye on this stat to see how effective your changes have been.

LinkedIn is Not Facebook

Having thousands of people in your LinkedIn network is not necessarily a good thing. You should only accept a link request if you actually know the person (business first, family probably not). I get lots of requests from people I’ve never heard of. Many of these requests are so they will have access to the links in my network. While having a large network is a good thing, it only helps if the links are valid and can help in your career. Should I accept LinkedIn invitations from people I don’t know?

Recommendationless

Not a typo, I wish I can say that I’ve just made a new word, but it’s been used before. Anyway, recommendations are a must on LinkedIn (not to be confused with Endorsements  – a topic for another day!). How many recommendations is “enough” and what’s the best way to get more?

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