LinkedIn Tips & Career Advice by Career Expert Laura Smith-Proulx : CAREEREALISM

By CAREEREALISM-Approved Expert, Laura Smith-Proulx

As a job tool, you just can’t beat the power of LinkedIn. With numerous ways to display your skills and core competencies, the site allows you to be found by hiring managers and recruiters, with little effort on your part.

However, using it incorrectly can actually reduce your chances of being hired. Here are 3 common pitfalls to avoid when setting up and using LinkedIn for a job search:

Failing to use all the space provided

You’re guilty of this if your summary is comprised of just a few sentences, your work history only includes titles, or you skipped sections like Interests or Specialties. These are valuable pieces of data that not only educate readers on your career, but also serve to boost your search-ability.

In addition, you’ll receive a not-so-gentle reminder from the site that says your profile is not 100% complete—which tells you that LinkedIn needs this data for keyword purposes.

Mistaking a resume summary for a LinkedIn summary

The LinkedIn summary area was designed primarily to present a snapshot of your brand and value proposition. However, many people mistake this area for the resume summary of qualifications, and insert that same, long-winded paragraph in this section.

However, LinkedIn profiles aren’t meant to be scanned like documents! In order to get the best results from your profile, you’ll need to apply Web copywriting principles, writing a more personalized, bullet-point account of your background and qualifications.

Break up the text visually so employers can quickly scan through for key words, and consider adding decorative bullet symbols for easier readability.

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Presenting data inconsistent with your traditional resume

There’s no way around it – employers will be trolling the Web for information about you, even if you’ve already sent your resume to them to review. The problem arises when your job history, education, or achievements appear differently online than on paper.

Here’s how to spot discrepancies: print out both your resume and your LinkedIn profile, reviewing the facts you’ve listed (such as job dates, education, job titles, employer names, etc.) side-by-side. If you omitted an older job or unrelated degree from your resume, for example, then make the same change to your profile.

Reviewing your profile this way also allows you to see if it delivers the same value proposition message as your resume. If you missed mentioning highlights of your career (such as metrics on revenue generated or cost savings), you can incorporate this data back into the profile so it aligns with your brand.

In summary, getting hired today requires a strong online identity. If you haven’t spent much time on your LinkedIn profile, it’s a good idea to revisit it and improve your Web presence.

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CAREEREALISM Expert, Award-winning, published executive resume writer Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, TCCS, CPRW, CIC is a national columnist, certified career coach, author, master-trained resume writer, LinkedIn/Twitter strategist, and former recruiter. The Executive Director of An Expert Resume and a media source/contributor to SHRM,,, Wall Street Journal FINS, The Denver Post,, and others, she partners with executives and senior-level professionals to win choice jobs through targeted personal branding, social media techniques, Search Engine Optimization strategy, career management, and hidden job market access. provides the best career advice from proven career experts on a daily basis. How do you find a job today? You get career and job search help from us! Sign-up today to get our updates daily.

The photo for this article is provided by Shutterstock.

Posted via email from AndyWergedal