LinkedIn-InBug-2CMany people lump Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (and even Instagram) into one large social networking experience.  Whatever they upload to Instagram gets posted to Facebook or tweeted to the rest of the world.  While this may be a huge timesaver, this “one-stop-shopping” methodology should not be employed with LinkedIn.  LinkedIn focuses on one area of your life – your professional life.

There is (and should be) a delineation between your personal world and your professional world.  Therefore, you cannot treat all social media platforms the same.  You should focus on completely different aspects of LinkedIn than you would with the other platforms.  Here are three things that people need to focus on with LinkedIn.

No picture / wrong picture – It does not matter.  One of the biggest mistakes on LinkedIn is not using a photo or picking an inappropriate photo (say of you and your significant other).

Now, if you are a government contractor, you may not be able to put a picture on your profile.  If so, skip to point #2.  If not, rethink this strategy.  You are not adding allure and mystique and you are not successfully hiding your age.  You are giving the person viewing your profile the impression that there is something wrong, or (worse yet) you are hiding something.  Think about it, would you consider a house or a car that you cannot view on or   

As for your significant other, unless you are equal business partners (and even then it is iffy) he/she is part of your personal life…not your professional life.  When you add him/her, not only are you opening up yourself to possible discrimination issues but you are telling the world that you are not a serious professional.

Not updating your statusOn Facebook, we tend to note every single milestone of our kids and our family but ignore the LinkedIn status updates.  This is a huge mistake.  Recruiters and hiring managers want to see your accomplishments.  They want proof that your career is progressing forward.  LinkedIn status updates are the place to do that.  Status updates do not need to occur every hour of every single day.  LinkedIn is not Twitter, but add something every couple of days.  It shows that you are engaged and active.

Not explaining your job responsibilities – Simply listing a generic job title is not explanatory.  Account managers at one company have a completely different set of responsibilities than account managers at a different company – even if they are in the same industry.  Not taking the time to list out your job responsibilities sends a bad vibe to recruiters and managers who are looking at your profile.  If you cannot take the time to tell them what you do, what are they to expect of you if you are hired? 

If you are interested in further learning about some ways to improve your LinkedIn profile, visit our Candidate Resource Hub and read 5+ LinkedIn™ Components That Are “Above the Fold” and Why You Need to Focus on Them.  Recruiters spend very little time looking at your LinkedIn profile – some say only seconds.  Your profile is your calling call and your “sell sheet” to the world.  With a little effort, you can make it memorable.

Snelling understands the impact that social media is having on job search process.  We have the resources you need to put your best foot forward – in both the real world and the virtual world.  Register on our website today to find your closest office, and let’s get to work for you!

By Christiane Soto