Are You Missing Out On Career Opportunities Because Of Your LinkedIn Profile?
Are you currently in the middle of a job search, or are you open to being contacted about career opportunities that might interest you? Are recruiters and employers contacting you about those opportunities, or is your inbox rather empty or just filled with irrelevant offers? If the latter happens to describe your situation, it is possible that your profile is at fault. Here are five problems we run across with LinkedIn profiles that often cause the candidate to be completely passed over for a job search.
No, I’m not going to harp on how misspelled words hurt your professional image, although that is very true. I actually want to explain how those misspellings can prevent recruiters and hiring employers from seeing your profile at all. As an example: say a recruiter is looking for a Commercial Underwriting Manager in Chicago, so he or she types those words into the search bar, and the profiles that contain those three terms for that region are then sorted into a list. The profiles that will NOT appear are ones where the only spelling of Commercial is actually “Commerical” or where Manager has accidentally been spelled “Manger” or even the shortened form of “Mgr.” Now, hiring professionals try their best to include every reasonable variation of the term they are searching for, but they won’t be able to include every misspelling, so make sure you proofread your profile thoroughly to eliminate those errors.
2. Oddly worded titles
I have mentioned this a number of times in the past, but it bears repeating. Your online profile needs to include some conventional terminology about what you do if you want search engines to include your profile in search results. Again, I am not here to discuss the “Sanitation Engineer” or “Advertising Ninja” examples of creative job titles; I want to point out variations of much more commonly used titles. Going back to my previous point’s illustration, a recruiter searching for a Commercial Underwriter will completely miss the same people who are known as Commercial Account Executives at a different company. Both titles are completely legitimate, but if your job title also has a commonly used synonym, it would be very helpful to include that synonym, as well. This way your profile will not be skipped over for opportunities that are actually a perfect fit for you.
3. Lack of job descriptions and specific terminology
Following up on my previous point, it is also very important to complete the brief job description portion for each of your current and previous roles with specific descriptions of what you do or did there. Remember, search engines are pairing keywords in your profile with keywords that hiring professionals are searching for, so the more specific information you give, the better chance your profile will have of being displayed in the results. It will also aid the recruiter or employer in knowing for certain whether or not you are a potential fit for the job they are trying to fill; after all, a mere job title is not enough information for them to be able to determine this.
4. Incomplete education and professional designation section
Be sure to complete the education and professional designations section of your LinkedIn profile! I have seen instances where an ideal candidate was never found because they neglected to include their Bachelor’s degree on their profile, something the hiring professional had specifically filtered for. Also, citing all of your designations somewhere in the profile may boost your standing to the top of the short list over other candidates who don’t possess them. Again, the more specific information you give, the better you will be found.
5. Outdated information
We all lead very busy lives, and keeping up with all of our online platforms can be tiring or impractical. However, maintaining your LinkedIn profile should be a priority for anyone who is interested in even the possibility of a new career opportunity. Making sure to update your record every time you have a job change, a move, increased responsibility, or completed education will ensure that you receive more Inmails that are appropriate for your situation and fewer that are completely irrelevant.
Do you have any other suggestions for improving LinkedIn profiles? Please feel free to share them below. For other helpful tips on how to craft your resume, cover letter, interview preparation, etc., take a look at our candidate resources page here.