I want to give you a crash course on what NOT to do on LinkedIn because these seemingly well-intentioned things are shooting you in the foot. I also want to give you a clear guideline of what does work.
Did you ever see the 2002 horror movie The Ring? Well, LinkedIn has its own version of this but it’s green. If you view your profile you will see a button that says open to. Click on it and you will see an option for finding a new job. Click this and you’ll be taken to another screen asking what type of titles you’re looking for, etc.
At the very bottom of this screen though is this seemingly innocent “choose who sees you’re open” with the option to let all of LinkedIn know you’re looking for a new role. If you choose the circled option below LinkedIn puts a green ring around your face with words that say “Open to work.”
But let’s stop and think for a second. Who would put this around their face? Someone who doesn’t care that their current employer sees they are looking. And who would that be? Someone who isn’t currently employed.
I work with hundreds of unemployed people. The reason they are unemployed is usually due to company restructuring or COVID. These people have been dealt a bad hand, they are hardworking, amazing people that want to find a place where their talents will be valued.
But, would you lead with “I’m unemployed” when you first met someone? NO! You’re telling the whole world you’re unemployed by using the green ring and letting unemployment be your leading selling point. You have so much talent, take the green ring off and lead with your value, not your employment status.
The “just let me know” post
Scrolling through the LinkedIn newsfeed you are bound to see one of these posts. (I made one up to protect the innocent)
This well-intentioned job seeker gave no information about what value they bring to an organization or even what job they’re interested in pursuing. They just put all the ownership on the reader. They are basically saying “Dear reader, read this post, go to my profile and figure out what I do, then message me with opportunities.”
Do not put the ownership on the reader, be the resourceful person I know you are, and tell the world about your unemployment but share what you bring to the table. Let me know how excited you are to save money and time for an organization. Also, tell me where you would fit well (AKA, name the title you want).
The Partial Profile
Did you know that 66% of LinkedIn profiles are missing a profile public picture? The most basic part of any profile is the picture and not having a fully optimized profile could be killing your job search. Make sure to fully fill out the following sections to get noticed on LinkedIn by recruiters and hiring managers.
LinkedIn wants you to do this and helps you by providing a guide in the middle of your profile. When you’ve filled out each section you become an All-Star.
Not only will this help you show up in more searches but going back to the “Let me know” post, no one will want to share your information if you haven’t even taken the time to fully fill out your profile.
The Two Word Comment
Activity on LinkedIn is actually tracked on your profile. Did you know that? You can decide if you would like others to see this but I would leave it on. This gives people a view into your interaction with others. The mistake here is when you get comment happy with notes like “I love this” or “Agreed.” You have done nothing to further the conversation around that post. You’ve simply agreed or supported it with a “yeah, right on man.” If you want to be noticed comment with something thought-provoking (and kind), give other readers something to respond to. Recruiters are looking at your activity, give them some wow factor material.