The team at digital selling firm Vengreso was ready to hire an instructional designer. They found someone on LinkedIn who seemed perfect for the job, and he likely would have gotten an offer after a cursory interview. But there was just one problem, says co-founder and Chief Visibility Officer Viveka von Rosen: He had no contact information listed.
That was the “final straw” from an already weak profile, says von Rosen, author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day. Sure, she could have messaged him through the platform, but they didn’t know how long it would take him to check for messages and the fact that his profile made it more difficult than necessary to contact him was a deal-breaker. The team moved on to look for someone else. “Update your contact information and consider including it in your summary, too,” she says. “Make it easy for them to find you.”
You may have built your LinkedIn profile and network over the course of years–or you may pay little attention to it at all. Either way, your profile may have red flags to recruiters or hiring managers, undermining your job search. But refreshing it doesn’t have to take long. In addition to keeping your contact information up-to-date, here are seven more red flags to keep in mind.
MISTAKE #1: A MISLEADING HEADLINE
The headline next to your photo is one of the most valuable pieces of LinkedIn real estate you have. Use it wisely, says executive recruiter and career advancement coach Suzanne O’Brien. If you have aspirations of moving up, don’t use your current title in your headline. Instead, opt for something that reflects the job you want without being misleading. “Try using something that encompasses your current role and where you want to go, along with your unique value,” she suggests. For example, “Leadership in Product Management with Mobile and Healthcare Expertise” or “Marketing Professional for High-Growth Companies.”
“For the company that’s looking for someone with that expertise, they’ll know right away that you’re a ‘bull’s-eye’ candidate and they want to speak with you,” she says. Avoid very broad descriptions like “Consultant” or “Tech Explorer with a Systematic Approach.” Also, it’s not the best place for a quote from your favorite author, she says.
MISTAKE #4: RESUME MISMATCH
If you do nothing else before your next job hunt, do this: Pull up your resume and compare it side-by-side with your LinkedIn profile, Boggs says. Make sure the dates, positions, and job titles match. When resumes and LinkedIn profiles aren’t aligned, recruiters don’t know what to believe, she adds.