If you put in the work and do it right, your LinkedIn profile will help you succeed

Looking for your next dream job? LinkedIn is a smart place to start. The professional networking site boasts a massive 20 million job openings right now. Needless to say, that's an awful lot of vacancies. Regardless of which industry you're in, there's likely to be a variety of suitable roles advertised on the website.

What's more, the platform is a hub for both HR professionals and recruiters alike; plus, the site's 830 million members means that the potential for growing your network is endless. That means that setting up a profile and becoming active on the site could open the door to new opportunities. However, there's one small catch! If you're new to the platform, you could be making some major mistakes that will ruin your job search. Without further ado, let's take a look at some of the errors you should avoid at all costs.

Leaving out the essentials

Beware of empty boxes. Often enough, professionals will take the minimalist approach to their LinkedIn profile. That means scarcely filling out the basic parts of their profile, such as their job titles and educational achievements. While, of course, you need to list these items, you should elaborate on them too. If you're not fleshing out these areas to explain your unique skill set, you're honestly missing a major advantage that LinkedIn offers.

Start with the summary section of your LinkedIn page. This area is likely to be the first thing that recruiters and connections see when they view your profile. Use this area to describe your current job role, the experience you've gained over the years, and where your specialities lie. Consider what someone needs to know about you, i.e. what makes you valuable. Make sure you include all the relevant information concisely.

When it comes to your education and work experience, you may simply have titles and dates. Unfortunately, that won't cut it. Beneath each of these titles, you have the space to write a brief description of the role or qualification. When writing each of these descriptions, include what your main responsibilities were, what the role or qualification taught you and, finally, any highlights such as awards or special achievements.

Using a bland writing style

Is your sparkling personality the key to landing your next role? It could be. Let's take a moment to talk about your writing style. When a recruiter looks at your profile, they only have one thing to base their decisions on - the text you've written. Since they are not meeting you in person, it means that your writing has to do the talking.

Spend some time editing your LinkedIn profile. Rather than writing a vanilla "I am an office administrator who works in a busy office," you could write "I am a pro at managing a busy workload. As an office administrator, I have to tackle many challenges each day." Adding some spice to the way in which you present yourself is a savvy trick.

Your profile also needs to reflect your personality and professional style. If, for instance, you are a humorous person looking for a job in sales, that attribute may be vital to your success strategy. The secret ingredient here is moderation. Of course, you don't want your entire profile to look like a Peter Kay script, but sprinkling your text with a few puns or cheeky (but clean!) jokes could add some life and colour.

Not listing your skill set

Next up, let's take a moment to talk about your skills. You know where your expertise lies, but you need to communicate that to recruiters and connections. One of the biggest LinkedIn mistakes you can make is failing to use this aspect of the site. The skills section is super simple to set up and could prove invaluable when it comes to a job hunt.

Simply scroll down to the bottom of your LinkedIn page, and, in the "Skills & Endorsements" section, click "Add skills." Adding these to your profile means that recruiters can see where your talents lie at a glance and you'll pop up in more of their searches.

Plus, you can strengthen this aspect of your profile by getting endorsements for each skill. Why not ask colleagues or friends to endorse you for the skills you've listed? All they need to do is head to your profile and click on the relevant skills to do so. It's a simple action on their part, but, when connections and recruiters see the endorsements, they'll have more faith in the skills you claim to have.

Failing to state your availability

If you're actively looking for work, you should let recruiters know about it. LinkedIn offers a service to help you do just that. When you head to your profile, there's a box below your summary that says "Career interests." Within this part of your page, you can select whether you are looking for a role or are open to offers. As a bonus, you can also add a note to recruiters and HR managers or add a green "Open to work" banner to your profile picture. 


Are you guilty of any of these LinkedIn mistakes? Now that you know what not to do, you can make changes that will help strengthen your online presence and further your job search. Spending a little time working on your profile is a core part of your professional development. Why not get started today and see what a difference it makes to the opportunities that come your way?

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