LinkedIn Mistakes Job Seekers Make

LinkedIn Mistakes

As an active or passive job seeker, the job market can be a bit tricky. Even more so, job seeking can seem intimidating when a seeker is constantly reminded of all the things they need to do in order to stand out to a recruiter. One of the popular tools job seekers and recruiters now utilize is LinkedIn. Although this has been used for several years now, seekers who are new to the platform or haven’t used it often enough may not know the ins and outs of this social media platform, including the expected etiquette. As a recruiter, I’ve seen the painful misuse of this site which may or may not have cost candidates a job opportunity.

Yes, LinkedIn is a social media platform. Yes, it’s used to build networks and communicate. However, LinkedIn is NOT a lot of things. For example:

  • LinkedIn is not Match.com: this is by far the worst offense myself and other recruiters have experienced. LinkedIn is a site for professionals to network and shouldn’t be utilized as a primary source to find an intimate relationship or hook up. More importantly, these intentions (either sweet or inappropriately worded) should not be the first form of communication to a new connection. If you are a job seeker at a job fair, would you approach a recruiter at their booth/table and say the same things? No.
  • LinkedIn is not Facebook: LinkedIn is a fantastic way to share news, industry-related content or even promote your own content to build a personal brand. Plenty of professionals have used this well and I’ve found it to be a great source of information. However, there are a few people out there who use the “update status” section as a way to post useless information. Honestly, there are plenty of people who misuse the same feature on Facebook, but at least that site is a bit more casual in comparison to LinkedIn. If you’re a job seeker trying to get your name out there, do you think irrelevant or inappropriate posts are going to help you show prospective employers your worth?
  • LinkedIn is not Instagram: Of course, some professions are much more creative than others and LinkedIn can definitely be used to promote these portfolios. However, if you are in this type of profession or even if you’re not, there should be a limit to what you post. Much like the inappropriate dating emails or irrelevant status updates, images shared on LinkedIn should be reflective of how you’d want to present yourself to a recruiter or hiring manager. Nix the awkward selfies as your profile pictures. Try to avoid “oversharing” by posting pictures unrelated to what should be shared to your network.
  • LinkedIn is not Twitter: Twitter is a great way microblog, self-promote, network and just post a quick update. It’s not uncommon for people to post several times a day and with Twitter chats being a great way to virtually network, it’s not uncommon for people to post several times an hour. However, this elevated amount of posting should be kept exclusively to Twitter. LinkedIn’s newsfeed is already bombarded with an obscene amount of content. Limit your LinkedIn postings to a reasonable amount on a daily basis or weekly basis. You don’t want to annoy people with your over-posting to the point where they end up hiding your updates. This could seriously work against you if you ever do post any updates you want seen.

Of course, no one is perfect and there’s no perfect way to be a LinkedIn member. Even I’ve been an offender of some of these situations. Some people might like what you share, while others won’t. Some posts might work for certain professions while others don’t. The important thing is to do your homework, understand how this platform works and really research your “audience”. And always err on the side of caution. If you think your postings can work against you in your job hunt, then reconsider before you post.

Photo Source

Early Careerists: Are You Utilizing Linkedin Effectively?

Recently, a colleague of mine had mentioned that she spoke at the college where she had graduated from. She taught current students and soon-to-be graduates about the professional social media networking website, Linkedin. Some of the students informed her that adults or professors had advised them against using social media when it comes to landing internships and jobs. Other students weren’t really sure how a website like this would help them. Being that she is a talent acquisition specialist, she made sure she properly educated the students on why it is crucial for them to not only use this site regularly, but also to keep it updated and accurate.

As a student or early careerist (or anyone, really), here are some important things about using Linkedin:

  • Keep your resume updated and accurate: Recruiters aggressively use this site as a tool to search for candidates to fill their job and internship opportunities. Make sure you update your profile regularly to have the most recent experience and education present.
  • Make yourself searchable: if you’re in the market for work or looking for opportunities to gain experience, update your resume to be as visible as you feel comfortable. Additionally, research appropriate hot keywords that are relevant to your experience and education. Place these in your experience, summary, and skills section.
  • Respond in a timely manner: if you have a smartphone, make sure you download the app or have your emails forwarded to your phone. Since the recession, it seems like there are a ton of candidates available for limited positions, therefore, it’s important to respond ASAP to ensure you can secure a potential position before another candidate does.
  • Network: join in groups, participate in discussions, connect with individuals, and respond to emails. Linkedin is a great way to connect with people in the industry who can teach you about companies or roles you’d be great for. Additionally, individuals posting thought leadership questions in groups and links to great articles can make it be a great resource and learning tool.

I strongly agree with my colleague when it comes to this. I am also in a talent acquisition role and I currently rely on this site heavily when it comes to finding candidates to fit job openings that need to be filled immediately. I appreciate individuals that have detailed profiles because it helps me search for them and I appreciate those who respond to me in a timely manner. I also love it when candidates personally try to reach out to me to let me know that their interested in a job I have posted. These are the people who end up getting hired quicker because they made themselves available, present, responsive, and searchable.

Additional Links:

Are You Searchable?

Photo Source