Avoiding the Top Five Mistakes People Make on LinkedIn Profiles

So, you have a LinkedIn profile. Is it really working for you?

It’s no secret that more than 90% of corporate and third-party recruiters use LinkedIn to search for top talent. The quality of your LinkedIn profile determines how well you rank among search results and how accurately a hiring authority can qualify you when networking. Missing information doesn’t just make you harder to find, it makes your profile irrelevant. Avoiding these top five mistakes will bump you to the top of the pack.

1. Your Current Job Title
Job titles are one of the most popular search fields recruiters use, but no one hiring an Electromechanical Engineer will search for the term “unemployed”. Don’t put it there. Instead, use the title from your most recent position. You can always explain that you kept the title in place for search purposes.

2. Your Headline
In addition to your job title, your profile headline is an opportunity to add more keywords that describe who you are and what you do. This is like a resume headline and doesn’t have to be a complete sentence: “Lean Manufacturing Executive, Six Sigma Black Belt, Operational Excellence Champion”.

3. Your Summary
Profile summaries have great potential but are often wasted opportunities. Just like a resume summary, this is your elevator pitch. Use it to define what you are looking for as well as what you bring to a potential employer. Pro tip: set up an email account strictly for job search and professional networking. Make this the address you use on LinkedIn and display it in your summary so potential employers can contact you directly.

4. Your Job Information
Job titles are great, but without additional job information, you are restricting your profile to a small pool of keywords. Try adding two to three bullet points outlining specific accomplishments you made in each position. Do not list responsibilities.

5. Your Skills
Most recruiters use LinkedIn’s Talent Services, which provides multiple layers of advanced search capabilities for identifying talent. The skills you select to include on your profile are identical to the skills available to recruiters in advanced search. Each skill you select has the potential to create a 100% match, making your profile more relevant in search results.

Bonus tip: Including a profile photo is ideal, but only if it is an appropriate image. Skip the hunting, fishing, and family snaps and stick with a headshot in professional attire.

A little creativity and time are worthy LinkedIn profile investments that pay off when you stand out in search results and receive more messages about relevant opportunities.