LinkedIn can be a powerful job search tool, but you have to employ it in the right way for it to be most effective. It’s especially important to recognize that LinkedIn should play a larger role in your career search than simply offering you a list of jobs to which you may wish to apply.
When it comes to LinkedIn bad habits, here are five and it’s imperative you eliminate as soon as possible:
Copying/Pasting Resume Content
Although copying your resume content into LinkedIn is a fast approach to populating your profile, it’s rarely advantageous. If your resume has the wrong structure, poor branding, inadequate achievements, or insufficient key words, these weaknesses will be incorporated into LinkedIn which is not going to serve your job search well.
Don’t assume that your resume and LinkedIn profile should have the same structure or positioning – they rarely should. Each document serves different purposes with different audiences and your document structure and brand positioning must reflect that fact.
Assuming Recruiters Read Entire Profiles
Heat map research on how recruiters read LinkedIn profiles proves that they spend very little time on your work history, education, or supplemental sections. Rather, they spend the bulk of their time reviewing your summary. Yes, they may glance at your experience, but they’re not usually looking for a detailed description of your roles – that’s what your resume is for. Bottom line?
Recruiters will likely NOT read your entire LinkedIn profile and you should take that fact into consideration when you decide what to include or what to omit in yours.
LinkedIn Profile & Resume Structure Should Match
Your Linked profile should be positioned to match your job search strategy to which, I would presume, your resume is also aligned. But since content, and hence your profile, is harder to read online, it’s vital to streamline your profile and age-proof it so your length of experience doesn’t disqualify you for consideration for the types of jobs you’re pursuing.
Additionally, though most job seekers will automatically list each job in a separate listing on their profile, this is not generally advisable. If, for example, you’ve held a lot of jobs with different employers that can be overwhelming to read online.
Many recruiters prefer that you combine roles into fewer job listings in your profile to convey your work history in a simplified fashion that drives home the key message. This approach both shortens your profile and makes it easier to read, which in turn makes it more likely that recruiters will get the message you want them hear—that you’re a great match to the position for which they are currently sourcing candidates.
All Career Achievements Should Be Included
As mentioned above, heat map research into how recruiters read LinkedIn profiles suggests clearly that including too many, let alone all, of your career achievements would be counter-productive. To ensure your profile is read, your first goal should be to include industry-specific key words in each section.
Your second goal should be to quickly summarize the scope of each position and your third goal should be to showcase your single most powerful and relevant achievement. That’s it. Keep your profile short and sweet and you’ll win more views, longer views, and more career opportunities.
Job Listings Are The Best Way to Job Search on LinkedIn
Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. The best way to job search on LinkedIn is to network, connect, and leverage connections to get your foot in the door with targeted companies. Applying for jobs via LinkedIn may be convenient, but it’s not automatically giving you an edge unless you pair your pursuit with targeted networking to help you reach out to the hiring executive.
If your job search activity on LinkedIn is mostly or exclusively focused on their job listings, you are missing the point of the platform and missing out on all kinds of career opportunities that your competitors are lapping up in your place.
Always remember that your LinkedIn profile is a funnel that should be written to entice your readers to contact you. Its job is to interest them enough to make them want to know more, not to tell them enough to enable them to discard your candidacy out of hand.
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