Many articles detail what is essential to include on your online profiles, but very few highlight what should NEVER be included.
We’re not always as truthful as we would like to be online and our profiles are one of the most common places that reflect this.
Ensure not to include:
1. Personal information (birth date, religion, political stance, residential address)
Employers may base decisions on personal data and including such personal information may limit your opportunities and put you at risk of discrimination.
2. Unprofessional profile photo
Before you have even met, your profile photo is the first impression a hiring manager, recruiter or headhunter will get of you. Ensure that your profile photo is of you is professional and relevant to your industry.
3. Spelling and grammar errors
Around 50% of CV’s containing spelling and grammatical errors received by hiring managers and recruiters come from university graduates. The 21-25 age bracket are the most common offenders.
To avoid potential opportunity damaging errors, use a spell checker and be sure to proofread your work.
4. Irrelevant work experience
Only include experience that matches the requirements for the role. Including unrelated experience can actually hinder your application.The average job hunt is 18 weeks and even longer for candidates without a strong CV.
If you find yourself needing to fill employment gaps and using experience that may not be specific for the job in question, do your best to draw links between the skills required and how it will add to the new role/company on a larger level.
Don't forget to review the role and look at the keywords and skills and include the keywords and skills in your CV. This will mean that your CV is specifically tailored for the role.
5. Unprofessional contact email
Fun email addresses whilst humorous at the time of conception may cost you a job opportunity. 76% of job applications are rejected for having unprofessional email addresses.
6. Negative language or content
It’s essential to use positive language on your CV. Try to replace any negative phrases with positive ones. 92% of recruiters reject candidates based on negative comments found on social media and within their CV’s.
Be aware that certain terms and phrases even when used in a positive context can be perceived negatively. For example, “I am an aggressive leader and will always drive my team hard to reach required targets.”
When it comes to experience and skills, it’s natural to want to add a little sparkle to your profile to make it stand out and get noticed by recruiters and hiring managers, but adding sparkle is different to stretching the truth. If you are applying for a job that you are genuinely interested in and is a good fit, there will be no need to stretch the truth as your previous experience and qualifications will complement the role.
8. Too much content
Having a short and structured LinkedIn profile reveals great communication skills.
An overly detailed LinkedIn profile may reflect poorly on you, questioning whether or not you are able to differentiate key information from that which is irrelevant.
On average there are 118 applicants for any given role and of those on 20% get to the interview stage, having a content overload on your LinkedIn profile may severely reduce your chances at being considered for a role.
9. Complex jargon
71% of employers say that they regularly see the use of complex jargon in LinkedIn profiles and 54% say that they don’t enjoy reading profiles filled with them. Keep your LinkedIn profile simple, stick to the facts and provide your readers with quantitative and measurable achievements.
Unfortunately these days it won’t do you any good to be invisible online. You need to have a strong and professional online presence. Including any of the points above can limit your opportunities and put your reputation at risk. Remember, ‘First Impressions Count’!