Job Seeker Mistakes to Avoid on LinkedIn and the Resume

National Experts in Resume Writing & Career Coaching

Job Seeker Mistakes to Avoid on LinkedIn and the Resume

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The first impression you make is a big deal, and as a job seeker that usually comes through your LinkedIn profile or resume. A poorly written LinkedIn profile or resume can mean lost opportunities to job interviews. So, as a job seeker there are certain things to look out for as you prepare your LinkedIn profile and resume for the job search.

Contact Information
This may seem obvious, but there are a countless number of job seekers who have submitted their LinkedIn profile or resume to employers with incorrect contact information. Unfortunately, the wrong information can mean no call-backs. Yes, the employer may still respond via email with a direct reply or contact you through LinkedIn InMail, but let’s not complicate matters with avoidable mistakes. You also must remember that oftentimes recruiters will forward along the resume, so the only contact information available to the recipient is what’s indicated on the resume. Check all your contact information carefully before submitting!

No LinkedIn profile or resume should be submitted to a prospective employer without having carefully crafted a customized Summary. The Summary is the centerpiece and the first point of information reviewed on your LinkedIn profile and resume. It’s your opportunity to present selling points to answering employers’ questions like why they should contact you or consider you for the job. Find more tips to writing a Summary from one of our latest posts: “Tips to Writing a Summary for Your LinkedIn Profile and Resume.”

In some professions education plays a larger role in the scheme of thing than others, like for careers in science and health. Don’t fall short on information related to your Education on your LinkedIn profile or resume because it may be the one selling point that gives you a leg up over another candidate vying for the job with similar experiences and skills. If you achieved an outstanding GPA, include it! If you had any other academic achievements, highlight it! Also, when it comes the Education, it’s unnecessary to include the years you attended or the year you obtained your degree. Adding in those details can give away your age and increase the chance for age discrimination with employers who may favor certain generations over others.

Work Experience
This section is generally the second most important section to the LinkedIn profile and resume, after the Summary section. Your experience, skills and achievements on the job need to be highlighted to inform employers why you’re relevant and what you can do on the job. When preparing this section also think about any large gaps you may have between experiences and find a way to address it. Gaps in employment typically leave employers questioning what you did in that time and can hurt your chances if not answered appropriately. Find more tips to handling career gaps, reading: “4 Reasons for Career Gaps and How to Handle Them on Your Resume.”

Headshot Photo for LinkedIn
The traditional resume does not get a headshot photo, unless you’re in the modeling business, but it’s a must for the LinkedIn profile regardless of your profession. LinkedIn is a place for networking and connecting with other people. A profile without a face makes making a connection with others harder. Add a professional headshot photo to your LinkedIn profile and it’ll improve the chances of others reviewing your profile. When you have a completed profile on LinkedIn, it can also increase your profile’s ranking in search results.

Spelling & Grammar
Projecting professionalism is key to leaving a good impression with employers, however, that doesn’t happen when your LinkedIn profile or resume includes spelling or grammatical errors. Check, check, and check again for any such errors before submitting it to employers. Minor mistake can cost you an opportunity, especially when there are so many other candidates also vying for the same job.

The LinkedIn profile and resume are key tools job seekers need. Invest the time in crafting one that’s polished and professional before promoting it and submitting it to prospective employers!