3 common LinkedIn mistakes that you're making — and can fix easily


LinkedIn is a necessary part of job hunting — even Santa Claus is using it.  

So think of mastering LinkedIn as an equally important part of the application process. There are the obvious ways to make your profile more desirable or more likely to pop up on people's radars: Use a professional-looking headshot for your profile picture, proofread, keep it all straightforward etc.

Bu then there are less obvious — but still simple — changes you can make to optimize your profile. And the best part is fixing these common mistakes won't take long at all. 

1. Neglecting keywords

Search for a bunch of positions you're interested in, then read the job descriptions and pick out recurring keywords in the listings. Make sure to include those in your profile.

Think: stuff like "fast learner," "detail-oriented" and "self-starter" — and skill-specific terms like "Ruby" or "Wordpress."

Doing so will not only make you look like a better fit for those jobs, but will also make you more likely to pop up when recruiters search for profiles that fit the associated job descriptions. 

2. Telling instead of showing

The classic adage "show, don't tell" exists for a reason.

Instead of waxing lyrical about all the cool things you've done, attach some media that provides actual evidence of your awesomeness. 

Maybe you've hosted a miniseries, maybe you created a beautiful deck for a huge presentation, maybe some of your writing or photography has been published — whatever you've got, include it for people to see for themselves. 

3. Using boring-AF job titles

Make sure your LinkedIn title sounds as professional and badass as possible, while still being true.

Spend half your time assisting on low-level work and half your time working with journalists? Instead of "research assistant," try "media and communications specialist."

"If your LinkedIn headline is like most, it’s actually making you look much less impressive than you really are," executive recruiter Pete Leibman wrote in a LinkedIn post

If you're doing lots of creative managerial work, you can call yourself a creative manager — even if that's not technically your job title.

Spend a little time thinking about how to best sell yourself — while still keeping it honest and believable. (Obviously, you shouldn't say you're the company CEO if you most certainly are not.)

Easy enough, right? 

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