LinkedIn is a happening networking site for job hunters and professionals of all types. Even many who are not currently on the search for a new job post their profiles to help build networking within their niche or for just in case they find themselves looking for a new position. The biggest problem with LinkedIn is that with its popularity came a surge of people signing up who just don’t know how to use it correctly.
I understand how confusing it can be. Here is yet another social network for you to figure out. The rules are different, the etiquette varies and every time a new update comes out you’re lost all over again. Hang in there because we have you covered.
LinkedIn is very much like a digital copy of your resume along with the ability to connect with other individuals online. What you do with your LinkedIn profile has a big impact on what benefit you get from the site. Too many people either forget to sign up, or make an account and rarely (if ever) check it. Then there are those who are using it regularly but might be making some common mistakes so they are not getting the results they want.
Simple mistakes that you can get away with on other social networks can really hurt your career on LinkedIn.
Here are some common LinkedIn mistakes to avoid:
- You’re missing a photo- Don’t skip the profile photo. People want to see your face and make that association with the name. In fact, consistency in your profile picture across different platforms can help build your personal brand. LinkedIn’s Connection Director Nicole Williams says “Your LinkedIn profile is seven times more likely to get viewed if you have a photo.”
- Not using the right photo- The only thing as bad as no photo at all is using the wrong photo. You should use a current, clear headshot for your LI profile. Do not use a photo that has other people in it. Do not use a photo of your baby (no matter how cute she is) and do not use a photo of you from 20 years ago.
- Not using the status option- This isn’t the place to update what you’re having for dinner but that doesn’t mean you ignore the status option. This can be a great place to update on what is happening within your business or any changes you’re making in your business life. Don’t be shy but keep it professional.
- Not posting past work experience- This is an online resume, after all. Be sure to post your past work experience and other details that will be relevant to potential future employers.
- Not filling out your work summary– Take the extra few minutes it requires to fill out your work summary. It really is important and people considering hiring you will want to see it. Leaving it out could cost you that one big break.
- Not reaching out and making connections- It’s ok to connect with people; this is what the site is for. Don’t expect that you just make your profile and the jobs will come rolling in. take some time to browse around the site, research and find people and companies in your related field then consider sending a letter of introduction (LOI).
- Using the default connect request- A sure sign of a newb or a spammer is the default connect request. It says “I didn’t have time to send you a personalized message and I probably just want to up my numbers here on the network.”
Remember there is a difference in professional and personal networking. What you get away with on Facebook might cause potential connections to cringe on LI. The environment is different and your approach might need to be different as well.
Do you have any tips to add about using LinkedIn?