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5 LinkedIn Errors That Will Harm Your Job Search


11/1/2011 11:52:33 PM

5 LinkedIn Errors That Will Harm Your Job Search By Laura Smith-Proulx, Executive Resume Writer

By now, you’ve certainly heard why a polished, professional LinkedIn Profile could actually be MORE important than your resume.

However, you could spend hours perfecting your Profile, and still not receive results from it.

But don’t give up! Here are 5 common reasons that your LinkedIn presence isn't drawing attention for your job search:


Problem #1: You forgot to apply the principles of SEO.

A fantastic LinkedIn Profile is still like the proverbial tree falling in the forest, because if you fail to make it easily searchable, no one will actually find it.

The best way to do this is to conduct some due diligence on the keywords used by others who are looking for new hires. Recruiters and employers often look for candidates with a particular job title, and specify a city as another parameter.

Think of a recruiter intent on finding a Senior Vice President of Clinical Research in San Francisco, and you’ll have the right idea.

So, you’ll want to pop that desired job title or career level into as many parts of your Profile as possible, in addition to skills that describe your experience.

Problem #2: Your profile text looks like a dry bio.

Your digital presence should do more than merely exist, pulling in the reader with a narrative that lets you explain your unique selling proposition (USP) in detail. Therefore, if you dump the contents of your resume summary or biography into LinkedIn, it’s not going to work.

In fact, pasting sections of your traditional resume straight into any online social networking site is asking for trouble, because these documents are written for print, not the Web.

Online copy is fresh, concise, and a bit more energetic than your resume, and it should be written in first-person to engage your reader as an individual.

Problem #3: You gave away the store.

I’m commonly asked where and how to attach a resume to a LinkedIn Profile. Well, there IS a way, but don’t do it!

Generate a little intrigue by refraining from providing every last bit of information to employers and recruiters. Think of your Profile as the introduction (with almost the same purpose as a cover letter), where you can add just enough data to make employers want more.

Then, back off and make it easy to connect with you (or contact you directly) so that you don’t commit Problem #5.

Problem #4: Your dates aren’t working to your advantage.

Searching for a job in your 40s, 50s, or 60s? Don’t give employers reason to filter you out by including all that work history dating back to the 1980s or 1970s – please!

In fact, assuming that your resume has a great strategy for combating age discrimination, be sure to employ the same techniques on your LinkedIn Profile.

You’ll quickly find that employers are most interested in your last decade of experience, and that adding too much information leads to Problem #3.

Problem #5: You didn’t pay attention to Contact Settings.

Yes, LinkedIn is a social networking site (with a business purpose, of course). Then what’s the idea behind preventing others from contacting you?

There’s nothing worse than finding a great professional contact on LinkedIn, only to see the message that “Bob is not open to receiving invitations or InMail.”

The Contact Settings section allows you to give a brief blurb about the best way to reach you, and this is a great place to list either an email address, a phone number, or both.

However, you’ll also want to ensure that the parameters within your Contact Settings are checked so that you can receive any combination of Introductions, InMail, and OpenLink Messages.

So, if your Profile isn’t generating enough interest, I recommend going back over your content and ensuring that you’re using a well-thought-out strategy to draw the world to your digital door.

Read more biotech career tips. Find more biotech and pharma jobs by visiting the career center.

About the Author

Laura Smith-Proulx of An Expert Resume is an executive resume writer and former recruiter who partners with CEO, CIO, COO, CFO, CTO, SVP, and Director candidates to win interviews at major corporations. A certified Professional Resume Writer, Online Professional Networking Strategist, Career Management Coach, Interview Coach, and Microblogging Career Strategist, she is a multiple award-winning resume writer and author of How to Get Hired Faster: 60+ Proven Tips & Resources to Access the Hidden Job Market.

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