LinkedIn has become the go-to social network for recruiters and hiring managers. We live in a world run by social media, so you should be aware of the main platform that can influence your opportunities for employment. There are plenty of tips on what you SHOULD do with your profile, but what content should NOT be posted to ensure recruiters consider you?
- Unprofessional Profile Photos
This network exists to help with your career search, so when choosing a profile picture keep in mind the cliché “dress for the job you want”. Other things to keep in mind when selecting a profile picture are: Instagram filters do not make you look professional, but a lack of a photo also serves to make you look questionable in the eyes of a potential employer. You also should be alone in the picture; this allows people to recognize you outside of the website. Don’t include pets in these photos, and do NOT use the type of photo you would put on a dating site (even if job searching is somewhat like online dating).
- Use of Buzzwords and Vague Descriptions
Avoid calling yourself a “Jack (or Jill) of all trades”, a “guru” or a “genius”; these terms are both too broad and can sound arrogant. Having a lot of skills is great, but if you don’t tailor your profile to show which are the most important, you won’t appear as though you know what you are looking for. Stating that you are smart or savvy on your profile are also unnecessary – demonstrate these skills through your experience and accomplishments, rather than saying it.
- Present-tense Job Descriptions of Former Jobs
Previous positions allow recruiters to have an insight into what your skills and abilities are. You should highlight what kind of work you did at previous positions. That being said, as you no longer work at these places, you are no longer doing these things. Update your profile to reflect this. You should also make a note to update your resume to remain consistent.
- Updates that would be more suited for Facebook
Before you share an update, ask yourself “does this update show that I am a qualified candidate?” If the answer is no, abort mission. Treat your profile the same was you would treat a job interview or a meeting at work: if you wouldn’t bring it up there, don’t share on your profile. Some appropriate updates could be about certifications you received, awards your company received, or success stories involving you or your company.
- Gaps and Inconsistencies in your Experience
Your LinkedIn profile is like your online resume. You should indicate where you worked previously, and when you worked there. A description of each position is also vital for a professional profile. Gaps and inconsistencies on your profile look suspicious, and will make recruiters hesitate and question if they should contact you. These are “red flags”, which can hinder your being selected as a candidate for a position.