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Are You Making These LinkedIn Mistakes?

by | Jan 21, 2014

If you want to make the most of your LinkedIn account, there are common mistakes you should avoid. We’ll walk you through each one and how you can easily fix them.

If you’ve been active on social media in recent years, then you’ve probably heard of LinkedIn being an excellent site for professional networking. In fact, LinkedIn is known to be a good site for employers and job-seekers alike. The problem is that many people don’t really know how to take advantage of a LinkedIn account. Here are some of the common LinkedIn mistakes you need to avoid if you want to make the most of this professional networking site:

1. Lacking a Profile Picture

One of the biggest mistakes you could ever make is to neglect adding a profile picture to your LinkedIn account. People are more likely to view profiles that come with a photo. Not only does a good photo make your profile easier to remember, it also makes people feel more connected to you somehow. Remember, when we say profile picture, we mean your picture, not a photo of your pet or your baby! Putting up a cutesy picture is very unprofessional.

2. Lacking Keywords and Important Details

There’s a part on LinkedIn where you’re allowed to indicate what you do. Note that it’s not enough to just type your job title in this part of your profile. You need to incorporate simple keywords that describe what you do. Keywords are also important to use when you indicate your skills, your professional experience, and your summary.

3. Skipping the Summary

You may think the time when writing about your career in the form of an objective summary, like in a resume, is long past. That’s not entirely true with LinkedIn, though. In fact, this professional networking site provides you with more space to write about your career than a traditional resume does. This is an opportunity for you not only to tell people about who you are and what you do, but also to let them hear your voice and show them your personality. This may be the best place for you to get creative and set yourself apart from the thousands of other people with a similar educational and professional background. One tip: Write your summary in the first person for a more personal appeal.

4. Using A Generic URL

Possibly one of the best features of LinkedIn is the one that allows you to customize your URL. If you’re a job-hunter, you can make your URL more personal by using your name. If you’re an employer, you can use your brand for easy identification. A customized URL also has a more professional appeal and makes it easier for other people to remember you. You should know by now how beneficial easy recall can be.

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While we’re on the topic of customization, you may also want to make sure your connection requests are specifically tailored for the person you wish to connect with. LinkedIn does offer a default connection request, but it’s really not advisable to use that when you’re trying to build professional relationships.

5. Being Impersonal

Whether you’re a business owner in search of qualified professionals who can work for you or a professional in search of the ideal employer, you need to have an approachable and friendly appeal on LinkedIn. Who would want to connect with someone whose profile looks like it’s the profile of a mafia boss? I’m sure you wouldn’t.

6. Absence of Updates

Your professional journey isn’t stagnant, is it? So why should your LinkedIn account remain without updates? Share an article you just wrote on your blog (or guest posted on someone else’s blog), post a status about a recent promotion, put in anything that tells people what you’ve been doing and how you’ve progressed. This is the best place to show off where your career is concerned.

Remember that your profile on this site is like an online resume. Do you really want people to check your resume and see someone who hasn’t made any progress at all in an entire year? People often want to know what your current professional status is, not what it once was.

7. No Businesses Followed

If you’re a job-seeker, it is highly important for you to follow businesses belonging to the industry where you wish to build a career. That way, you can be among the first to apply for a job opening whenever they announce one. If you’re a business owner, following businesses in the same industry as yours could alert you to upcoming trends. Following companies belonging to industries that complement yours could also open up some profitable opportunities.

Conclusion

Having a profile on LinkedIn may indeed be very helpful, but you need to do more than just set one up. If you seriously want to take full advantage of this professional networking site, make sure you avoid the seven most common mistakes discussed above.