Do you have a LinkedIn profile?
Do you feel that your LinkedIn profile is stagnant and doesn’t attract any attention at all?
Do you even know what LinkedIn is?
If your answer is ‘No’ for all three, then let us briefly educate you about LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is an online social network that is fundamentally different from social media in a sense that it is designed for professional networking purposes like finding jobs, discovering sales leads and connecting with potential business prospects. In a nutshell, it is very much like Facebook, but for careers and businesses. To read more about how LinkedIn works, click here.
However, if your answer is ‘Yes’ and you do realise that you have only less than 10 contacts (or maybe even none), it’s probably time to re-look at some things to remove, and rework your LinkedIn profile!
Here’s what the 5 things are:
1. NO Selfies!
Many LinkedIn users have used selfies or unprofessional photos as their profile picture, and yes you guessed it, their view rate is relatively low. You need to remember that employers and recruiters are people who don’t know you yet. They would like to put a face on the information you provide them on your profile, and this means that your profile picture is the only visual impression you have for them.
If you can’t find any suitable photo, a simple passport sized photo with you smiling in it would suffice (of course one that looks flattering, not those that you were forced to get out of bed to take. You know those with the blue background for legal government purposes).
Save your photoshopped, creatively posed, filtered selfie for Instagram, Snapchat and other forms of social media because you’re not aiming to get ‘Likes’ on LinkedIn. You would want to make professional contact and have as many good contacts for your career. And if you think an edited photo can ‘hide away your flaws’, when you do get called for an interview, they’ll just figure it out anyway.
Keep your photos professional guys, first impression counts!
2. Irrelevant Personal Information
LinkedIn allows you to put in a handful of personal information on your profile. It is time to take out some things about yourself that is not particularly relevant for a professional online social network. For example: you can scrape off your marital status and some hobbies (maybe like ‘yo-yo skills’) as it doesn’t showcase your professional skill set that can be useful for the job.
Users also put in their Twitter handle which is not exactly a bad thing but it is tricky, unless you set it to private.
What do most people use Twitter for on a daily basis? That’s right, to vent, rant and blabble about all kinds of random things on their mind that easily shows one’s personality. Twitter’s content is highly shareable and goes viral real quick. When you have all of these accounts (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc) available for the employers and recruiters to see, you have to make sure the contents are constantly professional.
But, seeing how vulnerable we are, sometimes some stuff might just slip. Therefore to be on the safe side, take out your social media links because it will surely suck to have a great opportunity missed due a few uncanny phrases online.
3. Outdated Professionals
If you have been working for a while and have used LinkedIn to secure a job before, it’s definitely time that you take away outdated jobs or internships from ancient times ago. It’s a norm for LinkedIn to think that there is no limit to their profile length, just because it’s not a resume. On the contrary, the same rules still apply.
“Less is more”
You need to only focus on your relevant roles as of 5 to 10 years ago, and you should not include roles without dates. By focusing on recent roles, you’re selling yourself to employers and recruiters job positions that you are currently pursuing.
An important note: If you are a fresh graduate or still a student looking for a head start on your career, or just not employed at the moment, NEVER use your headline to write that you are unemployed. This gives a negative impression to potential employers and they might perceive you wrongly. Instead, use a gentler approach like “looking for my next opportunity”. A more positive headline will improve your personal branding greatly.
4. Old Recommendations
Impressive internship recommendations? Projects that have gone stale? Outstanding portfolio that got you your first job as an architect?
Delete them from your LinkedIn profile, honey. They won’t be much of a use for you now. You mustn’t let ancient professional history cloud your chances for a new career or a better job opportunity. Old recommendations can undersell you, if not, it might sell skills that you aren’t interested in anymore.
You need to replace old recommendations to give emphasis on what you are now and what you strive for in the future. For instance, you had worked in marketing and you have received impressive recommendation from your bosses; but now you had a change of heart and felt like you would like to pursue a career in front end web developing. You would now need recommendations that reflect the current job role that you intend to pursue.
The recommendations from your previous job would make it look like you just jumped the wagon into IT recently. Cutting out that long list of recommendation from decades ago will help you gain attention of the appropriate people to pursue your career.
5. Microsoft Word Skills
Let’s be honest here, we add in Microsoft Word skills in our resumes just to fill it up, right? To show that we are in fact computer literate and don’t just know how to ‘Google’ stuff.
Well, Microsoft Word skills is understood without saying. If you know how to customise a resume template, or sign up and create a profile on LinkedIn, or even as simple as typing on Word, you are already somewhat proficient in using Microsoft. No need to reiterate it again.
There won’t be any advantage in listing the basic word processing skill that nearly all candidates possess unless you are seeking for an entry-level role that requires clerical duties. It’ll be a better use of your time to do some research on target job and taking note of the skills required for the position than using these terms to show your competency.
To summarise, back up and take a long look at you LinkedIn profile. If you feel that you have made all of these mistakes, time to delete these things of your LinkedIn profile.