Thursday, January 24, 2013

Are You Making One of These LinkedIn Mistakes?

I have talked at length about how important LinkedIn can be to your job search. The last statistic I heard was that 80% of employers will look you up on LinkedIn before calling you for an interview. Just in the last week, I have spoken to a handful of clients who have been contacted through their LinkedIn profile for career opportunities.

Hopefully, you have taken the advice and have created a LinkedIn profile. However, like all social media there are positives and negatives that can go along with LinkedIn. Review your profile and how you use LinkedIn to be sure you are not making errors in one or more of these areas.

Your Profile 
  • You should ensure your LinkedIn profile is as professional and polished as possible. Ensure your profile is 100% complete. 
  • Your summary section should not be too lengthy. Offer your value proposition and set yourself apart from the crowd with a 2 to 3 small paragraphs or 5 to 7 bullet points.
  • The default on LinkedIn is to use your current job title as your headline. To distinguish yourself from the competition, customize your headline with a personal branding statement. Mine says "Resume Writer - Career Services Trainer - Outplacement Consultant - Personal Branding Advisor - Military Transition Guru." Another example is "Customer Service Enthusiast with 10+ Years' Experience Building Repeat Customer Relationships." What do you want people to know about you?
  • Whether we like it or not, people make judgments based on appearance. For this reason, you should take extra care with your profile picture. Your picture should be professional - no kids or dogs involved. It is a good idea to have a professional photo taken for a nominal fee. This will ensure the photo quality and setting are professional as well. Your photo should look welcoming and friendly. Don't forget to smile and be sure to wear professional attire, not "going out dancing" clothes.
Check back next week when I discuss the mistakes you may be making with your connections and your communications on LinkedIn.

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