In our rapid-fire digital age, the Internet has completely revamped the way we traditionally look at recruiting. Resumes are sent as PDFs, online portfolios reign supreme, and LinkedIn has become the new Facebook for recruiters in every industry.
Wondering what you shouldn’t include on your LinkedIn profile in order to appear as marketable as possible to potential employers? Read on to find out.
1. Job titles that don’t say what you really do
When trying to describe your previous positions, it works to your advantage to be as precise as possible. That way, recruiters know exactly what your skillset is, and how it might fit into their company.
2. Your age
Unfortunately, some people have reservations hiring someone they think is either too young or too old. Don’t get knocked out of the running for a job by including school graduation years or other age identifiers.
3. Bad spelling, punctuation, and grammar
When writing up descriptions of your responsibilities in each job, take care to avoid punctuation, grammar, or spelling mistakes. Look at it as a test of your writing and communication abilities—highlighted for everyone to see.
4. A goofy profile photo
Unfortunately, some people don’t seem to realize that LinkedIn is not the place to put a goofy or odd profile photo—unless you’re looking for a job at the local comedy club. Spend a little money on getting a quality headshot that will impress those who see it, not make them wonder if you’re a serious candidate.
5. References from previous positions
There’s no reason to include references with phone numbers or contact information on your LinkedIn page. If an employer is really interested in hiring you, they’ll contact you for them directly. However, do encourage people you’ve worked with or for to leave recommendations for you on your LinkedIn profile page. They can really make you stand out from other candidates.
6. Salary or pay
One of the most unprofessional things you can do is include your salary for each position you held at various companies on your LinkedIn profile page. Unless you’re asked, it doesn’t make sense to disclose such personal information on such a public platform.
7. High school jobs
Unless you just graduated from high school, then jobs you had in high school (or earlier!) don’t belong on your professional LinkedIn page. While you may have enjoyed your summer job flipping burgers or mowing lawns, it’s not going to make much of an impression on someone who’s doing the hiring for a position with much greater responsibilities. It’s much better to put your best foot forward by showcasing standout roles in more recent jobs.
8. Personal information
Refrain from adding information about your ethnicity, religious affiliation, political party, or other potentially sensitive or controversial information. Regardless of how open-minded your recruiter may be, saying less is definitely safer than saying too much when you don’t know your audience.
9. Unprofessional posts or memes
Don’t forget that your LinkedIn profile and any posts you make on LinkedIn are potentially going to be viewed by the very person who is going to interview you for your dream job. What do your posts say about you? What about those funny memes (silly cat photos and so forth) that everyone seems to be passing around today? Will they make the interviewer even more excited to make you a job offer, or stay far away?