In today’s world, the way you’re portrayed on LinkedIn may be just as or even more important than any resume or cover letter you submit. That means it’s critical to utilize your LinkedIn profile to its greatest potential. However, it also means that making certain mistakes with your account could possibly cost you a job. Here are the top four mistakes you should be sure to avoid when updating your LinkedIn profile:

1. Not using a photo

While it’s nice to believe that employers don’t pay attention to what candidates look like, studies have shown that some hiring managers only look at profile pictures when researching their candidates on LinkedIn. At the end of the day, your LinkedIn photo is the first impression hiring managers have of you, so it does matter what it is! Not only is it necessary for you to add a picture, but it also must be a professional one. Photos of you and your dog? Save those for Facebook.

2. Not completing your profile

If your LinkedIn profile isn’t 100% complete, you’re doing it wrong! Would you ever hand in an incomplete resume during an interview? Hopefully not – so why would you leave your LinkedIn unfinished? To hiring staff, your LinkedIn profile tells even more than your resume would. Completing your profile to the fullest extent assures that the people you want to impress will see every wonderful thing about you – things that wouldn’t even necessarily make it onto your resume, like professional groups or thought leaders you follow.

3. Never updating your profile

If your latest professional experience listed on your LinkedIn is the internship you had freshman year of college, the chance of you catching a hiring manager’s eye is pretty low. Adding your most relevant experience lets others know that you’re in the market to expand your professional life. Plus, posting status updates, sharing relevant articles, and following companies can all demonstrate your knowledge of the industry in which you work, which employers always appreciate.

4. Sending generic invitations

Which connection invitation would you be more likely to accept: “I would like to add you to my network,” or “Hi John! I enjoyed working together a few years ago. I’d love to get together and catch up over coffee sometime!”? The answer is pretty obvious. If you’re looking to utilize your LinkedIn for serious networking, take your connection invitations seriously, and always think about how you would receive the message if were you on the other side.

Is your LinkedIn profile 100% ready? Awesome! Go ahead and download Rake to get started with your job search.


Also published on Medium.