The Top 3 Mistakes Job Seekers Make On LinkedIn

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The Top 3 Mistakes Job Seekers Make On LinkedIn
Mistake 1: Not Having a Brand
Mistake 2: You are NOT Your J-O-B
Mistake 3: Don’t Look Like an Axe Murderer
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The Top 3 Mistakes Job Seekers Make On LinkedIn

By Joshua Waldman

Everyone is on LinkedIn these days. Let’s face it. Almost every CEO from every Fortune 500. Last count was over 80 million users.

In contrast, job boards have only about 3.5 percent of available jobs. This is common knowledge in the career industry, but then why do so many people spend so much time on job boards?

The answer is because it feels safer. LinkedIn is really all about networking. And socializing in an unfamiliar environment can be frightening. I know, I’m an introvert. I totally understand why job seekers try to spend as little time as possible in front of LinkedIn.

So I want to offer you 3 of the most common mistakes in using LinkedIn and how to avoid them. My goal is to help job seekers get over any unconscious resistance to using the most powerful job finding tool ever invented.

Check out this very special presentation by Joshua...


Mistake 1: Not Having a Brand

Shoe companies have brands, not people!


Looking for a job is just another sales situation. You are your product. And everything about you is going to either sell you or turn people away.

It’s really just a choice you have to make inside.

Just like how we make buying decisions emotionally, sometimes based on silly things, like the color of the packaging. So too do hiring managers unconsciously make decisions about our candidacy. If your résumé doesn’t quite match your LinkedIn profile, and that doesn’t match what your referral said about you, then you are in big trouble. The risk of being inconsistent is huge, and it helps to have defined “who you are” long before you put yourself out there.

The second part of branding is knowing your audience. What are their two biggest problems right now, problems that you could potentially solve? The trick is to align the “who you are” with the “what they need” so there is a nice overlap.

This, my friends, is your personal brand. It will define your strategy, your writing style, your colors, photos and everything else about you online. Most people crank out their LinkedIn profile without doing this step first.


***Need to develop your BRAND?  Click here to watch a very special presentation!***



Mistake 2: You are NOT Your J-O-B

“Systems Engineer”

“Marketing Executive”


These appear under people’s names in their LinkedIn profiles. And they tell us nothing about who this person really is.

They are a commodity.

Quick story. I had a client, a network engineer, who wanted to work for a very large shoe company. No, not Nike, but good guess. He knew they had two problems. First, they had no internal network. Second, their external network was so broken that it was affecting supply chain. So in order to really appeal to this company, we needed to directly address their biggest challenges — challenges that he had the capacity to solve.

So his headline went like this, “Powerful Intranet builder | Supply Chain thought leader | Project management guru”

You have 120 characters to tell the world who you are and what value you bring. And every communication you generate on LinkedIn will have this professional headline attached to it.

So choose wisely.

Hint: don’t use your job title as your headline

***Need to help with you LinkedIn Profile?  Click here to watch a very special presentation!***


Mistake 3: Don’t Look Like an Axe Murderer

Every single time I speak about social media in the job search, someone always comes up to me afterward to ask me this question, “But I’m just not that comfortable putting my picture up.” They are either too young or too old or too something.

Yes, ageism, racism and sexism are very real. It’s sad and terrible that they still happen in our society. But using a black and white photo, or zooming way out to try and hide something about ourselves is not going to solve the problem. The only thing we can do is put some time and effort into our photos, to reflect who we are honestly. And to make a nice looking photo.

All too often, people will put up a mug shot, and wonder why they aren’t getting call backs. This happened to a friend’s client. And the day he changed his photo, he got a job offer. No exaggeration. (I can hear the HR people cringing from this story, but it’s true). So the lesson from this is that it is worth getting a professional headshot taken if you are serious about getting a job.


If you found this article to be helpful, you may be interested in browsing similar articles. May we also suggest more Land a Job Articles, which have information to help you move forward in your job search process. If you are new to our websites, these articles talk about having a personal strategy and mistakes to avoid. Also, our sister website, sponsors daily video podcasts as well as a great email newsletter. We encourage you to follow or subscribe during your job transition -- It's Free! Thank you for your visit, and all the best!


Joshua Waldman
Joshua is a social media strategist founder of Career Enlightenment, a firm dedicated to helping job seekers, frustrated by the traditional job search, leverage social media tools to find work FAST! He also blogs, trains and presents to job seekers and career advisors all over the country about how to stay ahead of the social media curve. His upcoming book, “The New Connected Career” takes job seekers through clear step-by-step instructions on winning their next job within weeks using free online tools.