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5 LinkedIn Mistakes to AVOID When Job Hunting

Avoid getting yourself in these situations if you want to find a job on LinkedIn quickly. Being the largest career-focused site online, LinkedIn is a perfect place to get in touch with the best recruiters in the industry and showcase your skills. 

LinkedIn serves as the first line of scrutiny by employers seeking to gauge your suitability. Therefore, what they see or miss on your profile can tip the odds against you if it doesn’t meet their expectations. 

If you don’t want to be in such a situation, avoid the five common LinkedIn mistakes highlighted below.

  1. Avoid Cliché and Boring Headlines

The LinkedIn headline is the first thing potential employers notice when they visit your profile. The title also appears on LinkedIn and Google on-site searches. Like an article or newspaper headline, it says a lot about the content.

One common mistake among LinkedIn users is filling up the platform’s headlines with job titles. The headline should serve as an opportunity to sell your expertise, and simply adding a job title may not be rewarding. 

Craft a descriptive headline and use as few words as possible. Be unique and avoid boring stuff you come across in other accounts. Here are the four purposes that your headline should serve. 

  1. Entice visitors to engage with you.
  2. Detail your skills.
  3. Be a call to action.
  4. Showcase your value. 

For example, a headline that reads “Editor at XYZ” is merely a job title, while one that reads “Editor with Marketing expertise for French Market” makes a brilliant pitch. 

For a headline to sell, it must have the following characteristics.

  1. Be clear and concise.
  2. Include target keywords like “Editor” and “French.”
  3. Offer a unique value. It is easy to find a French editor, but few have marketing expertise.
  4. Show experience. Indicate areas you’ve applied your skills. For example, “edited 500 books for the United Nations,” “created” an edition for a regional company, etc. 
  5. Don’t Get Too Personal

Sure, separating your personal and professional life on social media could be tricky, and even if you succeed, the lines can be blurry. For that reason, it would be hard to draw a clear-cut line on what qualifies as professional or personal content. 

Having said that, treat LinkedIn as the professional network that it is and only post career-centric content. However, you’ll find yourself delving into a few of your personal milestones as you engage in the career conversation. 

Sure, highlighting a bit about your personal journey and how it influenced your career path could help recruiters understand you better. However, writing about how you had to leave work for some time to cater to your siblings starts to cross the line. No matter how you phrase it, if the post describes more personal struggles than a career path, it probably should not be on LinkedIn. 

Only recruiters seeking insights about your persona would be interested in reading content about non-work interests. For instance, if the recruiter’s industry is offering a role that requires fitness, they would like to read more about your participation in local marathons. Also, highlighting your role as a volunteer leader of a local charity would help actualize your leadership skills. 

Whatever content you share should add a professional value clearly to the recruiter. If you doubt the relevance of any item you’re about to post on LinkedIn, don’t post it. 

  1. Stick To Relevant and Valuable Connections

The first thing LinkedIn users yearn for when they sign up is growing the number of connections. Increasing connections can help boost your professional reputation and profile. However, the growth will only reflect the connections that are valuable and relevant. If you’re building up connections just to accumulate numbers, you are in the wrong. The practice will, instead, hurt you in many ways. 

Your LinkedIn connections are mirrored on your timeline. So, once you share your profile, the first thing the recruiter will check is the kind of content you interact with. What they find gives them a sense of what matters or makes sense to you. Interacting with content not relevant to your industry shows little or no interest in your profile’s face and intrinsic value. 

The best thing would be to significantly increase your relevance and face to recruiters by limiting your connections to notable figures in your industry. 

It’s worth noting that potential employers prioritize people within their network whenever they search for talents to hire. It means that you have a good chance of appearing in their searches if you’re within the network of professionals known to the recruiters. 

Use the checklist below to know the right kind of people to connect with.

  1. Familiar professionals.
  2. Role models in the same industry, including established talents or thought leaders within your industry. 
  3. People with massive following and connections in your industry.
  4. Prospects in the industry.
  5. Avoid Showboating

Unfortunately, many people tilt more towards showboating on LinkedIn rather than promoting their skills. Although differentiating the two might be tricky, you should remain modest and write every post guided by the rules below.

  1. Use non-exaggerative words to avoid overemphasizing your achievements or status.
  2. Be quick to acknowledge team members or link to their profiles if they played a role in your path. 
  3. Only focus on the areas you involved in hard work to make the post more appealing.
  4. Always keep the description of all achievements within a relevant context. Show the recruiter the reason for raising the issue on the post. 
  5. Provide key takeaways that the reader can grasp from your expertise and successes. This could include valuable tips, best practices, or industry insights. It shows your willingness to share your matter expertise rather than making it a show-off. 
  6. Be sure to back achievements with evidence in the form of proof or statistics. 

In some of your posts, Showboating could inadvertently demarket you to a recruiter even if your achievements are legitimate. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t undervalue yourself to not appear as a braggart. Demonstrate your achievements and maintain professionalism throughout. 

  1. How to Highlighting Your Experience 

Pay attention to how you detail your work experience on LinkedIn to avoid underselling yourself. Consider the points below to ensure that whatever experience you highlight on your LinkedIn profile emphasizes your career progress. 

  1. Don’t limit your work experience to 9-5 jobs. Include experiences in one-off contracts, freelance gigs, and volunteer jobs to add value to your profile. 
  2. Be sure to highlight all the positions you’ve held in the same company, especially if they highlight positive career progression. 
  3. Always provide a career overview when listing your work experience. Also, avoid personal words like “my job included,” “I was responsible for,” or other terms that show a list of responsibilities. Instead, use power phrases like reduced, piloted, led, managed, or grew to emphasize the input and value you created in your career path. 
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