Used correctly, LinkedIn can be more than just a resume on steroids. The social network of choice for job seekers offers less stressful networking for people who can’t deal with cocktail parties, access to an insider’s view of a potential employer, and an easier way to visualize your network’s strengths and weaknesses. Then again, as we’ve pointed out more than once, if you’re not careful, it’s a good way to shoot yourself in the foot.
(Photo Credit: nan palermo/Flickr)
What can go wrong? Plenty:
1. Spellcheck is not just for resumes.
Sarah Smith-Proulx at Career Rocketeer offers a laundry list of mistakes she’s seen on the network, including:
- “Ifnormation Technology” … in the headline of a profile.
- Perform as “preform” … in a Profile Summary of a candidate who also claimed strong attention to detail.
- Company names spelled three different ways in the same profile.
2. Profile pictures that belong on Facebook.
LinkedIn is not the place for a cute Valentine’s photo of you and your sweetheart. You need a picture, but it should be something you’d present to the boss for inclusion in a company directory. Better yet, visualize the promo materials for your future TED Talk. In other words, keep it professional.
3. Forgetting about the cover letter element.
In the olden days, you submitted a resume and cover letter to every job opportunity. Now, LinkedIn might take care of some of the cold calling aspect of the job hunt — provided that you don’t forget to tell your story, as well as list your skills, in your LinkedIn profile.
“You don’t need to use resume-speak; instead, use longer sentences and active verbs that describe your story,” suggests Pamelia Brown at Undercover Recruiter. “Use the section in your profile that allows you to write a summary to tell your story, the story that isn’t on your resume. That way users can see both aspects of your career resume and aspects of your slightly more personalized professional story.”
Tell Us What You Think
What’s the worst mistake you’ve ever seen on LinkedIn? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.