With more than 950 million global members, LinkedIn is a powerful tool for job seekers as well as recruiters looking for the ideal candidates.
However, many job seekers make common mistakes on LinkedIn that could cost them the jobs they are applying for.
According to the recruitment experts at Armstrong Appointments, about 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates. This means that if you're not on LinkedIn or if your profile is incomplete or outdated, you're missing out on a huge opportunity to network with recruiters and potential employers.
Here are five commonly-made LinkedIn mistakes – and how to fix them:
Your profile photo is your first impression on LinkedIn. It should be a professional headshot where you're dressed appropriately for your industry. Avoid using selfies, party pictures or anything that might not reflect the image you want to portray to potential employers. A well-lit, clear and friendly photo can go a long way in making a positive impression.
A complete LinkedIn profile is 76% more likely to be viewed by other professionals - and your summary is a great opportunity to tell your professional story. It should provide a snapshot of your skills, experiences and what you bring to the table. Leaving it blank or making it too generic with buzzwords like “motivated” or “dynamic” won't help you stand out. Instead, use this space to explain your unique value, accomplishments and career goals.
Recommendations from colleagues, supervisors or mentors can add substantial credibility to your profile. They provide social proof of your skills and character. Don't underestimate the power of having people vouch for your work. Reach out to colleagues and ask for recommendations, and don't forget to return the favour by providing recommendations to others when appropriate.
Sending generic connection requests without a personal message can come across as lazy or even spammy. When reaching out to someone on LinkedIn, always include a brief, personalised message. Explain why you want to connect, express genuine interest in their work or organisation, or mention a mutual connection or interest. Personalising your requests shows that you value the connection and are not just seeking to expand your network haphazardly.
Being active on LinkedIn is key to increasing your visibility and networking effectively. Regularly engage with posts by commenting, liking and sharing content relevant to your field. Share your insights, participate in discussions, and post your own content to showcase your expertise. Being an active and engaged member of the LinkedIn community can help you build connections, demonstrate your industry knowledge and potentially lead to new job opportunities.