If you’re applying for a job in today’s highly competitive job market, you need a LinkedIn account. Given the importance of social media as a networking tool, LinkedIn is right up there with the resume and cover letter as far as important information that you should be updating regularly for potential employers.
Already have a LinkedIn account? Double check that it does not include any of the following four deadly sins for LinkedIn pages. (If it does, consider stopping by Career Services for a LinkedIn workshop session. Workshops are designed to cater to both new and experienced LinkedIn users, though we do ask that you create a profile before attending the advanced workshop. Upcoming sessions include an advanced workshop on July 9 at 4:30pm and introductory workshop on July 11 at 12:30pm. Check the office’s calendar page for more information about upcoming workshops!)
Your name is in all lower case. Your high school is misspelled. You do not link your resume or provide a professional photograph on your profile. All these characteristics demonstrate that your job search is not very active, as you have not fully activated your account
List only three skills or talents on your page? This is not the place for self-deprecation! This section of Linked-In should reflect your full range of job experiences and academic skills. If you are having trouble thinking of qualities, ask former employers or friends for suggestions. (Note: To access the Skills section on LinkedIn, edit the “Skills & Expertise” section of your profile.)
Haven’t checked your profile in months? You’re missing valuable messages and requests for network connections. Get in the habit of checking your LinkedIn at least once a week or update your account settings to receive email notifications from the website.
If you want to be more active, join LinkedIn Groups — accessible through the Interests section of your LinkedIn homepage. To get started, sign up for our LinkedIn group — you’ll be in good company with over 500 students, alums, faculty and staff.
Update your page regularly to reflect new job experiences, skills and professional contacts on a regular basis so that your account best reflects the value you can add to a potential employer. You’ll also want to weed out old or irrelevant information to streamline your profile!
Adapted from Dawn Boyer’s “8 LinkedIn First-time User Mistakes.”