12 Signs Your LinkedIn Presence is Suffering from Anorexia

12 Signs Your LinkedIn Presence is Suffering from Anorexia

Are you neglecting or avoiding your LinkedIn profile? What about your network – do you stay in touch and nurture your connections? If you’re not maintaining your profile, upgrading its content, or developing relationships with your key connections, you’re missing out on the advantages LinkedIn can offer your career and your current or future job hunts.

The Hidden Dangers of LinkedIn Anorexia

There are several negative consequences that may occur when you neglect your profile or your network:

  • An incomplete profile is a significant problem because the LinkedIn search algorithm favors those that are complete. There are specific things you must do in your profile for it to earn LinkedIn’s recognition as complete and this is well worth doing since a complete profile is 40% more likely to show up in searches.
  • A stale profile is an even bigger problem. The LinkedIn platform is essentially a massive database and databases have in inherent preference for fresh data. Every day that your profile is not updated is a day when it falls in the search rankings. To keep your profile fresh, you need to add or change content at least weekly. And if you are in an active job search, you might want to boost that activity level to daily. The good news is that keeping your profile fresh is easy – just add or change content to “reset” your search rankings.
  • An outdated profile is one that doesn’t show your most recent employment, educational attainment, or career-related activities or achievements. I’ve not seen any research on this, but I’ll bet that most profiles on the nearly 600 million-member networking platform are out of date. This is concerning, because an out-of-date profile will tend to rob you of keywords, and unless you’re totally new to LinkedIn and 21st-century job searches, you’ve probably heard that keywords are critical to a decent search ranking. Without a decent search ranking, your profile will get little to no attention from recruiters, hiring executives, or key influencers. Fewer people will want to connect with you and even fewer career opportunities will come your way.
  • A small network is an issue since the size of your network influences the number of times you show up in search results on LinkedIn and the volume of search results you see when you look for contacts and companies on LinkedIn. The smaller the network you have, in other words, the less good LinkedIn will do your career. The larger the network you have, the more good it will do your career. While 250-300 connections represent a bare minimum, I recommend to my clients that they aim for 500+ connections in order to set themselves up for more career opportunities.
  • A small network in your target companies and industries is another problem you’ll run into if you’re not paying much attention to your LinkedIn presence. One of the best ways to leverage the platform is to build a network inside the companies you’d like to join and the industries you’re currently in or targeting. Building such a targeted network helps you to penetrate the Hidden Job Market and access the 85% of jobs that are never advertised publicly on job boards or recruiter sites. Failing to do so means that you are artificially restricting your search to the 15% of jobs that most of your competitors are also pursuing.
  • A small network in your target geographic areas has a similar impact as a small network in your target companies and industries in that it prevents you from tapping the Hidden Job Market in specific cities or regions of the country(ies) in which you’re searching. It no longer matters if you don’t have a network in an area you want to move to because you can literally manufacture the network you need on LinkedIn within a matter of weeks.

The Top 12 Signs of LinkedIn Anorexia

The LinkedIn platform is a networking powerhouse, but it requires an investment of time and energy in order to leverage it for career management and job search success. And that’s just to get your profile into decent shape (let’s call that Step #1) and build the network you need for either of those goals (let’s call that Step #2). There are more steps needed to leverage your profile and your network, but you can’t execute those until you first accomplish Steps #1 and #2.

  1. Your profile doesn’t include a photo.
  2. Your profile doesn’t have a custom headline.
  3. Your profile doesn’t include an About section.
  4. You have jobs listed on your profile which you held in the last five years, but which contain no content.
  5. You have one or no LinkedIn recommendations.
  6. You include fewer than 50 skills in your Skills & Endorsements section.
  7. You’ve joined fewer than 25 LinkedIn Groups.
  8. Your most recent work experience isn’t included.
  9. Your most recent and relevant educational credentials aren’t included.
  10. You have fewer than 500 connections.
  11. You aren’t updating your profile on a weekly basis.
  12. You haven’t made a deliberate effort to build a network into your target companies, industries, or geographic areas.

The good news is that anyone can accomplish both steps and achieve both goals on this equal-opportunity platform, if you’re willing to learn a few things and invest some time and energy. What small action step can you take today?

Do you need more guidance to complete your profile and build out your network? Stop by my Resources page for an ever-expanding series of LinkedIn articles and how-tos (just scroll down to see the complete list of LinkedIn topics).

About Cheryl Lynch Simpson

Cheryl is a Career, Job Search & LinkedIn Coach and Master Resume Writer. She has helped clients in >35 industries on 6 continents and has earned 24 global resume writing nominations and awards.