The 3 LinkedIn Mistakes That Make Your Eyes Bleed
Have you ever looked at LinkedIn and thought “Sigh. Why?”
You already know why it’s important (430 + million people, recruiters, job postings, brand positioning etc etc etc).
So I’m not going to argue a long, drawn-out case as to why you need to be on LI.
Let’s just forget about that for now.
Instead, let’s talk about how to use LI in a way that won’t make your eyes bleed from exhaustion.
LinkedIn Mistake #1: Spending tons of money on LinkedIn premium.
Do you need LI premium? Honestly, probably not.
If you are in a power job search mode and you want to be able to network extensively on LI, premium can be useful. You often get invited to a free month, so use it. If you continue to job search and need more time, paying the $60 per month is fine…as long as you are actually using LI.
But let’s be honest – for many of us, LI is like the gym.
We pay for it, but we usually drive by covered in pringle dust and avert our eyes, as we head home to another awesome night on the couch.
Instead of you know, actually using it!
So, take a hard look at your LI account right now. Are you on it weekly, actively checking leads, connecting with people, and in the process of a big job search?
Okay, YOU can keep your premium.
But, if not, consider canceling premium until it’s time for that next big job search, when you will actively make time to be on the platform.
Let’s take away the stress and guilt of paying for something you aren’t using, and focus instead on using all of the amazing free stuff instead :).
LinkedIn Mistake #2: Not updating your profile.
I’m not going to waste your time telling you to review your headline or rewrite your profile (and add a photo), you aren’t living under a rock, you know all of this already. (And if you don’t, here’s a detailed and handy article with examples for you).
But, and be honest, when was the last time you updated your LI profile in a thoughtful and helpful way, versus just throwing a bunch of old resume bullets up there?
If you are like most of the world, you either did a great update awhile ago, and haven’t looked at it since, OR you did a terrible “I’ll get to this later” profile…and haven’t looked at it since.
Either way, it’s probably time.
Here’s my recommendation before you head to LI to dig into yet another profile update: Start a success journal.
What is a success journal, you ask?
I’m so glad you did!
At the end of each day, spend approximately 69 seconds jotting down the one or two things you did that day that you enjoyed, were proud of, or were worth noting (won that award, completed that project, reorganized that system etc), and at the end of the month go ahead and update your profile using that information.
The success journal is brilliant because you’ve already captured (in writing!) the things that are worth noting. Now you can just pick and choose the best and most relevant ones to post publicly.
You’ve just saved endless amounts of time staring blankly at a screen, and you’ve also made it easier for recruiters to find (and like!) you.
You are so smart!
LinkedIn Mistake #3: Treating your profile like an old resume, so you completely fail to stand out (or get anyone to read it).
We’ve already talked about updating your profile (it’s time, get mentally ready), but let’s also talk about the TONE of your profile.
Let’s start with the baseline idea that resumes are the WORST. Seriously, the absolute worst. You don’t like writing them, no recruiter or hiring manager actually likes reading them, they are a terrible affliction on the human race.
But, they aren’t going to change anytime soon. That’s the bad news.
Here’s the good news: Your LI profile is NOT your resume.
That means it doesn’t have to be as boring, awful, or terrible as one of your old discarded resume efforts from the early aughts.
What I’m basically saying here is that on LI, you are allowed to have a smidge of a personality, and also be slightly less formal (and long-winded) than you are in your resume bullets.
So, in your summary section, for example, consider using real words instead of resume speak. Push the envelope – go a little crazy and even refer to yourself in the FIRST PERSON.
I know. It just got real!
Here’s an example of tone that many folks are still using:
“John Doe is an expert strategist and leader with a synergy around building strong business and helping operations teams mature in the financial sector.”
Did you read the above and understand any of it?
Did it even feel like a real person?
Here’s an example of how you could change that summary to be just a smidge more interesting and personal, while still being professional.
“I absolutely love numbers. Over the course of my career, I’ve put my love of numbers to good use: First as an analyst, then as a manager of a 20 person team, and finally as the VP of operations, which means that it’s my responsibility to make sure our doors are open, our bills are paid, and our employees are happy.”
Which one held your attention?
Which one felt like a real person?
Which one did you want to have coffee with? 🙂
Most important – which one stands out to you?
There are 430+ million people on LI, which means that anything you can do to stand out in the right way is a win.
So, take a second in a word document and rewrite your resume overview or summary in real-person speak. Use real words, like you would if you were chatting with someone new at the water cooler and they asked you: “What do you love about what you do?”
And if you are really stuck, start with this sentence: “I love xyz. I apply xyz in my job in these ways…” and see where that gets you.
Do what is comfortable for you – but remember that you can be just a little less formal, and doing so might help you catch the attention of someone important to your career :).
Not sure how to update your profile because you are feeling pretty stuck at work right now?
No worries! I’ve got a helpful free kit to get you UNstuck immediately if not sooner :). We’ll ship it straight to your inbox, all you have to do is click here.
We break down the three steps you need to take (in under 10 minutes a day) to immediately make progress!