While LinkedIn is a social-media tool, it's not like the others. LinkedIn is your personal website for your career. You are a business-of-one that must sell its services to employers over the course of your career. Having a strong LinkedIn profile is a good way to market your business-of-one. Unfortunately, I see people making all sorts of mistakes on the platform. Some include:
- bad/no profile photo
- too much/too little information
- writing in the third person
- overly subjective text (guru, ninja, etc.)
- poor networking etiquette
But, there's one mistake job seekers are making that's the kiss-of-death.
If you do this, you're marketing desperation -- and nobody buys desperation.
You might think letting the world know you're, "actively seeking opportunities" is a good idea, but it actually works against you. Studies show there are several reasons why this hurts the effectiveness of your profile. For example, it's been proven recruiters have serious hiring bias. They prefer to hire someone who is currently working. Thus, when you put, "actively seeking opportunities" on your profile, you're giving the impression you're unemployed. Not to mention, it screams desperation.
Send the message the right way: toggle the switch.
You can still let recruiters know you are seeking new job opportunities on LinkedIn. There's actually a privacy setting that lets you indicate secretly on your profile that you're looking for a new job. Then, when a recruiter searches for someone with your skill sets, your profile rises in the search results. Out of 500 million users of LinkedIn, only 12 million of them have toggled the switch on as of the beginning of 2018. That means you have a chance to really stand out, without screaming desperation.
Let your skill sets do the talking.
The best way to optimize your LinkedIn profile is to make sure you have included all the key skill sets you want to be found on. For example, if you're in marketing, you need to look at all the skills required to do your job and make sure they're included in the headline, summary, work history, and endorsement sections of your profile. Why? LinkedIn's search algorithm is much like the one on Google. It looks at the relevance of your profile based on the search terms. So, the more optimized your profile is with the kinds of keywords a recruiter uses to find candidates, the more likely you are to show up in their search results.