Among recruiters, LinkedIn is undoubtedly their go-to search engine when looking for the ideal employees for their available positions. After all, here you have the LinkedIn profiles that offer a nice quick look on who the viable candidates are.
On the flip side, if you’re the job seeker then you really must make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date. More than that, you have to design it to catch the attention of the recruiter. Because of the sheer number of candidates they need to go through, recruiters only use up 5 to 10 seconds to gauge your profile.
So this means you can’t give the recruiter an easy to spot the reason why you’re not a viable candidate for their job. This means you need to cut off some offending parts from your LinkedIn profile, such as the following:
- Superlatives. When you use too many adjectives that describe yourself in glowing terms, you’ll end up not impressing the recruiter. These adjectives sound fake and too obviously self-aggrandizing.
Instead of describing yourself as a “people person”, describe how you worked and how you’ve mentored your team members so that they’ve done well at your company. Don’t say you’re “innovative”, and instead give an example of what new product or process you’ve created or improved.
- Overworked buzzwords. LinkedIn reported that the most overused buzzwords for their site included:
- Vague clichés. These include terms like “proficient with” MS Excel or “excellent with” PowerPoint. Instead, explain how you apply the particular software in your day-to-day work so that recruiters can have a more accurate idea of your actual proficiency with a program. When you use words like “excellent with” and “proficient with”, it’s not just ambiguous but you come across as a lazy thinker who uses clichés.
- Obviously basic skills. Do you really need to point out that you can use MS Word or even PowerPoint for that matter? Do you have to say that you’re a punctual worker who’s respectful to their boss and their colleagues? These attributes are expected, so you don’t need to point them out. This won’t make you notable unless you want to stand out as a worker who excels only in the basic stuff.
- Skills that aren’t related to your job. This may seem obvious, but the problem is that many people think that their LinkedIn profile is different from their resume. After all, LinkedIn is a social network like Facebook, so there’s always the temptation to paint yourself as a well-rounded person with interests outside the workplace.
In the end, you have to keep in mind that when you’re looking for a job, you need to be serious about it. This includes being serious about your LinkedIn profile. You’re a job seeker first, and you should secure your job first before you use LinkedIn for merely socializing.
While you’re at it, make these 5 LinkedIn changes.