All job seekers should be aware of how important it is to have a good LinkedIn profile. This will help maximize their chances of finding a new job. However, as a professional social networking platform, lines may be blurry on what is acceptable online behaviour and what is considered unacceptable. Here are some of the common mistakes to avoid on LinkedIn. it comes to our online
Your LinkedIn headline summary is the first thing people see on your profile – use it wisely. Job seekers will often make the mistake of putting things like “seeking new opportunities” or “unemployed” on their headline. This may seem to be an obvious way of attracting attention, but no employer or recruiter is going on LinkedIn looking for unemployed people. They search by role/title, and key skills and if this is not covered in your headline or summary you won’t show up for opportunities that you possibly qualify for. Your headline should grab the attention and concisely highlight what you do and what you are good at.
Settling scores or venting online
It may seem like a great idea to go to LinkedIn and have your voice heard on issues that are getting under your skin. You may feel compelled to comment on political events, something that happened to you or how you were treated by a prospective employer or a recruiter. Just remember smearing people or companies online usually comes across as negative and creates an impression about you and your conflict management skills that may not come across well. This can be a huge turn off for potential employers as they are only interested in hiring or doing business with mature professionals that know how to resolve matters amicably.
Treating LinkedIn as a Dating Site
It is a very sad fact that some people (mainly men) believe that LinkedIn is a great place to reach out and connect with potential romantic partners (I’m being polite). It may be that you are looking for a partner who has an established career who will not be a financial burden, someone who will complement the life you are building for yourself. Tempting as it is to browse for potential partners online, please don’t. Most people are on LinkedIn for the right reasons such as seeking career or business-related connections, they are not looking for a date. If you do try and connect for something other than professional reasons, your behaviour could end up being reported and your profile being deactivated.
Bad or inappropriate profile pictures
If you understand the purpose of a profile picture you will opt for a professional headshot. It’s amazing how many people post photos that don’t present them as professionals. You don’t have to get a photographer to take a picture of you, but make sure you take one that presents you in a good light. Photos of you at a wedding or a party or on the beach just don’t present the right impression. Likewise, avoid group photos or ones where you are in the distance. We live in an age where most communication is digital, and you meet people online that you may not necessarily meet in person. People generally respond better when interacting with a person they can put a face to. Another picture mistake is an overly sexy picture, please keep it decent, think of LinkedIn as a huge digital boardroom.
LinkedIn is a wonderful platform full of endless networking opportunities. If used wisely can help advance your career and open doors for you.