Your LinkedIn Profile is a Mess. Fix it or Lose it.

January 9th, 2012 | Posted in , by

Most recruiters and HR personnel agree that your potential employers will be checking you out on LinkedIn before they consider you for a job. In fact growing data shows that overall: recruiters and employers decide whether or not to even proceed with the first preliminary phone interview after judging your social media use, specifically Facebook and LinkedIn.

That being said: a lot of you have no idea how to use Social Media. As someone just entering the recruitment field I can say with certainty that a lot of you don’t make it very easy for recruiters to help you find jobs. You’re young and fighting for that first job, does it make sense for you to leave your profile empty when you are a nobody in the field you want to enter? Rather counterproductive of you, no?

Fill in all the blanks.

I feel rather ridiculous telling you this but hunting through well over hundreds of LinkedIn profiles in my first few shifts I have been surprised and exasperated by how many candidates have inserted their title and left the meat of their role blank. I guess those of you who do this assume that everyone would simply know what you do based on your title. That or you are scared to fill things in because you have difficulty communicating about your role.

There is really no reason that works in your favour. Fill it up. Employers and Recruiters are busy, busy, BUSY people. It is not up to them to make assumptions about your role. A complete profile looks a lot better overall and makes it easier to employers to make more accurate judgment calls on your abilities.

Keep it concise and relevant

So you take my words to heart and start filling in your profile: but now you’ve decided to make it a huge and bloated with mundane lists of tasks.

Everyone knows graduates are unlikely to have a lot of experience in the career they are looking to enter but you should not let that intimidate you so you end up babbling about nothing.

If you find yourself stumped ask yourself: how is this task or ability important to the career I want to enter? If you can’t formulate anything check out the profiles of professionals in your field to get an idea of what employers want to see then structure your profile accordingly.

Keep it up-to-date

Even when you aren’t actively hunting for your career you need to keep your LinkedIn profile as relevant as possible for two reasons: your network will always want to know what resources you have available to them and potential employers might proactively contact you for an opportunity you might not have even considered.

If you don’t stay on top of things you’ll have to deal with pointless job opportunities you won’t be interested in and when you do decide to start job-hunting it will be painfully obvious to your current employer because they will know you are not the type to normally update your information.

These are just the basics of LinkedIn. I’ll cover LinkedIn more in-depth in my next article. First get the basics done right because without them your LinkedIn profile is useless and graduates really can’t afford to misuse or ignore any tools that can help them land their first real job.

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