Almost everyone is on LinkedIn, but only a relatively small number of LinkedIn members actually profit from their use of the site. LinkedIn is clearly the place to be for executives and professionals who are looking to advance their careers, but if your LinkedIn profile is not representing you well, being a member does not help your case.
Here are some reasons that many users are not successful on LinkedIn:
Your profile is incomplete. According to a LinkedIn spokesperson, users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities than those with incomplete profiles. LinkedIn will tell you if your profile is 100% complete or not, and it will let you know what you need to add in order to make it complete (i.e., an additional work experience or photo).
Your profile has a split focus. Job hunters who have several different areas of expertise can fall into the trap of giving mixed messages on their profiles in terms of what their job objective is. You must determine what types of positions you are targeting, and your profile should reflect that focus. If you don’t do this before creating the profile, your profile will not be effective in attracting employers.
Your experience section does a terrible job of telling your story. This is related to the profile being incomplete. Many LinkedIn members only give name, rank, and serial number when it comes to the experience section. They do not provide enough detail to give employers a compelling reason for contacting them. You should mention quantified accomplishments wherever possible to show that you have made a contribution to the bottom line of your organization.
Your photo is poor or you have no photo at all. Your photo shows up whenever you use the LinkedIn site. As such, it is the first representation of you. If your photo is of poor quality, does not look professional, or is missing altogether, you are sending a message on LinkedIn about yourself whether you realize it or not. Although it is not absolutely necessary to have your photo taken in a studio, it does need to project a professional image.
Your headline does nothing for you. Your headline will automatically default to your most recent job title. By not changing it you end up giving free marketing to your most recent employer because the employer’s name shows up along with your job title. Since your headline, like your photo, appears whenever you interact on the LinkedIn site, you should use that space as a teaser to pique an employer’s interest in what you have to offer.
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