The Biggest Mistake You Can Make On Linkedin

by: Joanne Meehl

So often people ask me to "Take a look at my LinkedIn profile", and then request feedback.

I've done this so much now I can almost predict what I'll see, because so many people do the same thing:

- Their headline -- that line right after their name -- will have either their exact current title and company name, or it will say something like "in transition". (It should be your title. You may have been laid off, but they didn't take away your profession.)

- Their Summary will be a paltry 4-5 lines. (You have up to 2,000 characters, so use 'em. Just keep each section very short.)

- The Specialties section will have some keywords but will need more. (It's all about keywords. Content, not "pretty".)

- They will not use any of the apps LinkedIn offers, like your reading list courtesy of Amazon, or WordPress, or Twitter. (LinkedIn loves it when you use an app or two or more, and rewards you by finding you more readily in searches.)

- And jobs back to the 1980s will be listed, with lots of detail but too few accomplishments or keywords. (Just focus on the last 10 years. Too much has changed with your older jobs. Recruiters want to know what you've done lately.)

- The Interests section will be all personal. (Minimize the personal, accent work interests, so that you repeat keywords.)

- There will be a handful of groups, most of them "job search"-related. (Choose a majority of professional groups, with only a few job-search groups. This shows career orientation, not "I'm in job search.")

- And they'll have no recommendations and maybe 50 connections. (Shoot for at least 5 recommendations: That's what people want to read about you. Add connections: your network grows geometrically instead of "just" by, say, 10 or 25.)

In other words, too many are making the biggest mistake you can make on LinkedIn: not using it to its capacity.

And therefore, they are not being "seen" online.

Every day now, clients are landing interviews because they've been "found" on LinkedIn.

Make the changes suggested above, and you'll be on your way to getting noticed -- and interviewed -- as well.

LinkedIn is a great tool. Now use it to its maximum potential!


Having trouble doing your LinkedIn profile, especially the Summary? Not getting any hits on LinkedIn? Contact Joanne for help.


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