Drop boring headlines, cliché job descriptions and other LinkedIn flubs

Most social media apps are places where we can relax. You can relax and post crazy photos to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and more. Compared to most social media sites, our sponsor LinkedIn is pretty much buttoned up.

You should always put your best foot forward when using this app. After all, it is where you go to connect with colleagues and find new careers. That means you should avoid being too personal, as that can damage your credibility.

But that’s just one of many common LinkedIn flubs. You may be guilty of a few more subtle mistakes without even knowing it. Avoid these LinkedIn mistakes – they can hurt you in the long run.

Mistake #1: The net you are casting is way too wide

Many modern filmmakers design blockbusters to appeal to the widest possible audience. They want as many warm bodies on the seats as possible, so they avoid storylines that can alienate onlookers. It’s all very general and pleasant: good guy fights bad guy, bad guy loses, they all live happily ever after, and so on.

Your LinkedIn profile does not have to follow such general guidelines. You want to appeal to a niche audience.

You want to specifically customize your LinkedIn Page to make people in your industry feel like a respectable professional in their field. If you’re too vague and don’t include personal details, you may have a general appeal…but you’re missing individual distinction.

In short: when looking for a job you want to stand out from the crowd. Emphasize the experiences that make you different. Cast a net too wide and the best fish will slip.

Mistake #2: You say “yes” to every friend request

If you’re new to LinkedIn, you may get overly excited by the influx of friend invites. You may think that a surplus of connections shows to recruiters that you are social and have a large network. However, if they go through your contacts and find obvious scam accounts, that could be an attack on you.

Random connections can be tempting, but pushing your numbers up makes it harder for recruiters to get a good idea of ​​who you are. As we said before, they want to understand what makes you tick, because that helps them figure out if you’re a good fit.

For example, if you’re a journalist and you have 100 friends in the construction industry, they might be wondering what’s going on. Are you considering a career switch? Are you more interested in carpentry than fact checking?

In short, befriend professionals you know and those you would like to learn from. Find people with potential in your industry, as well as people with many LinkedIn connections in your specific industry.

Mistake #3: You’re Selling Yourself Too Low

Of course you want to avoid showboating. No one likes someone who honks their own horn and goes on and on about how qualified they are. But don’t be too modest.

Remember you are a professional who has earned all the accolades you have received. You’ve worked hard and there’s nothing arrogant about listing your qualifications and experiences.

In short, emphasize your career progression and explain how you have progressed in each of your jobs. For example, list all the positions you have held at the same company as this shows how you are growing and succeeding in your workplace. Also, don’t just list jobs – go into detail about your work experience and responsibilities.

Mistake No. 4: Your focus is too narrow

You may be thinking, “Okay, LinkedIn is a job board, so I should just focus on my job.” Do that and you paint an inaccurate picture of yourself, robbing recruiters of fully understanding your character.

Step back and see yourself as a recruiter would see you. Freelance gigs, volunteerism and certifications can all paint a complete picture of who you are as an individual. Include them so recruiters can see the whole package you have to offer.

Also brush up on your work experience. Don’t say things like “My responsibilities include…” or “Every day I did this…” because they seem corny. Emphasize your actions with strong verbs like “I grew, I managed, I led, I made, I made progress”, and so on.

Bottom line: you are a fully realized and well-rounded person, not a robot. Your profile should reflect any experience that has made you a better employee, even if it isn’t jobs. For example, if you’re a seamstress and volunteer to sew free stage costumes for the local theater, include that! Unpaid experiences can help recruiters understand your skills and understand what makes you tick.

Mistake No. 5: You’re not writing with the audience in mind

Talking about your achievements is one thing. It’s another thing to give a good impression to people viewing your profile. When listing your skills, try to go beyond the bare minimum.

Give readers a sense of how your achievements have changed your workplace for the better. Of course you are an individual, but recruiters want to know how you work in a team. Think of yourself as a spice; you are only part of the soup, but you take it to a new level.

In short, clarify how you’ve made your employer’s life easier. If possible, give specific examples of times when you took the step to initiate change.

Error No. 6:

These tips are all intended for job seekers. But what if you have a job to offer, but no one bites the bait? That could mean making a colossal mistake: not using LinkedIn Jobs. This is what we mean.

Small businesses have unique needs and it’s more important than ever to have the right people on your team. That’s why Kim trusts LinkedIn to help Jobs. LinkedIn Jobs matches your open position with qualified candidates and posts your post to members every day so you can hire the right person faster.

Find the perfect match for your company with LinkedIn Jobs. And, for a limited time, post a job for free — visit LinkedIn.com/kim to get started today!

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