5 Ways You’re Doing Yourself a Disservice on LinkedIn

Holding Yourself Back LinkedInIs your LinkedIn Profile failing to generate the attention you want – or are people surfing it and then leaving?

If so, you might find that you’re either making it difficult for employers to find you, projecting a less-than-friendly online demeanor, or even preventing others from contacting you!

Take a look at these 5 reasons behind a low volume of job search success on LinkedIn – along with fast fixes that to boost your LinkedIn ROI:

1 – You’re not leveraging keywords in the right places.

Where did you add your job title and skill as keywords? If you had to pause to answer this question, it’s a good bet you didn’t specify these values in your Headline, Summary, Job Titles, or Interests (perhaps only including them under Experience).

LinkedIn’s search engine is set up to “count” your keywords throughout your Profile, but they rank higher when used in your Headline or Job Title (and to a lesser degree in your Summary and Interests). So, it’s time to amp up the volume in these areas – especially if you’ve ignored them in the past.

The more hits you get on the terms used by recruiters to source candidates, the higher volume of traffic your Profile will receive – and the more likely you are to be contacted for an opportunity.

For example, using a headline such as “IT Director, VP IT. Hosting & Managed Services. Cost Savings, Business Alignment, & Infrastructure in Manufacturing” helps other users find you based on career level (VP and Director), specialty (IT infrastructure, managed services, and hosting), and industry (manufacturing).

Consider adding keywords to your Job Titles, using your actual title, followed by a more descriptive term (“Operations Director, COO Level Authority for Production”) to help boost your keyword ranking for desired positions or skills.

Of course, you can also add job titles in the Interests section, and populate your Summary section to engage readers with a first-person description of what you offer, followed by some job titles that fit your goal and skills to back it up.

2 – You haven’t joined more than a handful of Groups.

You might have joined some LinkedIn Groups to collaborate with like-minded professionals, or to enhance your professional reputation. However, belonging to less than 10 Groups often makes it harder for others to get in touch with you.

Here’s why: Since recruiters often pay (more than you do) to use LinkedIn, they are on the hunt for ways to reach out to you for free. Even though Premium memberships and InMails (LinkedIn internal email messages) allow messages to be sent on LinkedIn for a fee, belonging to a shared Group allows any user to send a note or Connection invitation to you at no charge.

So by hanging out in the same place as a hiring manager or recruiter, you’re making it much easier for them to send you an inquiry.

To find more Groups likely to produce results, run a quick search on Groups using keywords, such as your job title, industry, or career level.

3 – You didn’t add Contact information.

This might seem obvious, but many people forget that LinkedIn no longer displays your email address or phone number!

To fix this problem, first check out what’s already in your contact information by viewing your Profile’s “Advice for people who want to contact you” subsection (under Additional Information).

To change the information in this area, go to Settings (hover the mouse near your name at the top), then look for Email Preferences on the bottom left-hand side.

Select “Types of messages you’re willing to receive” and you’ll see a box called “Advice to People Who are Contacting You.” Here, you can add not only basic information such as your email address and phone number, but entire paragraphs full of data on what you offer and the best way to get in touch with you.

4 – You neglected to add a (professional-looking) photo.

While it’s true that a photo can seem like an awkward piece of information for a job search, it’s also a critical part of the engagement process on social media.

When you leave the photo blank, others may feel uncomfortable approaching you, or become wary of your intent in using LinkedIn. Some recruiters have even stated that they’re reluctant to contact a job seeker with no picture on LinkedIn, which shows how much stock they put in it.

Of course, it’s best to ensure your photo represents your professional demeanor, instead of using a too-casual or off-putting image.

To obtain a LinkedIn-worthy photo, you can either have a professional headshot done, or have a friend take a few shots of you in professional attire. Either way, you’ll want to get this crucial item up onto the Profile – showing that you’re ready to welcome inquiries.

5 – You’re shunning Connection invitations.

It’s easy to believe that your LinkedIn network should be carefully cultivated, with a select few contacts that you can trust. However, this approach is more commonly associated with personal social networking sites, such as Facebook.

If you believe in and adhere to this policy, your LinkedIn Profile will appear to be a half-hearted effort, and others may avoid reaching out to you. In fact, some recruiters are wary of users who appear to have less than 100 contacts.

You’re best off evaluating potential Connections with a more open approach, accepting invitations from the majority of contacts unless there’s a serious reason not to do so. Opening your network will also give you the advantage of becoming a 2nd or 3rd degree connection to others interested in talking with you.

So, if you’re not getting the leverage out of LinkedIn that you want, it might be time to reassess how difficult it is for others to find and contact you. These simple corrections can bring much more traffic (and results) your way.

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