The Top 5 Mistakes You’re Making on LinkedIn
The idea of LinkedIn is genius, if you think about it. The platform combines the power of social media for networking purposes with the informational aspects of a résumé to provide users with a professional, online environment to grow their networks, build connections, and even find job opportunities. As of July of this year, LinkedIn has 380 million users, with an average of two new members per second (DMR). With this information in mind, it is quite clear that using LinkedIn is a smart idea for those who want to increase their chances of networking and business opportunities.
Like any other social media platform, LinkedIn comes with its own set of Dos and Don’ts. In other words, there are some techniques that work better than others when it comes to attracting attention, and some that are just plain turn-offs. Through a combination of personal experience, observation, and research, I’ve compiled a list of the top five mistakes people are making on LinkedIn without even realizing.
Read on to find out if you’re an offender of any of these LinkedIn faux pas!
1.Your profile has typos. I know this seems obvious, but you would be surprised how many people let spelling and grammatical errors creep into their LinkedIn profiles. Treat your LinkedIn profile sort of like a résumé– it lists your past and present work and education, volunteer experience, skills, accomplishments, and more. Spelling and grammatical errors show a lack of attention to detail, and you don’t want to be overlooked because of a simple spelling mistake!
2.You list skills that LinkedIn doesn’t recognize. The purpose of LinkedIn’s “skill” feature is so employers can see which users have specific skills that they are looking for. Additionally, your connections can endorse you for skills that they personally know you excel at. LinkedIn’s skill database has pretty much anything you can think of, but be sure to choose a skill from their list, as opposed to writing your own. For example, if you want to add that you are proficient in Microsoft Office, you would add “Microsoft Office” as opposed to “I am proficient in Microsoft Office,” which would not be in LinkedIn’s database.
3.You haven’t written anything in your “Summary” section. A blank Summary can say a number of things – it can imply that you may have been too lazy to completely fill out your profile, or that there isn’t anything to say about you. Be sure to outline your current status (job seeker, student, etc.) and what your goals are. You don’t have to make it super-long, a few sentences will do. But don’t be afraid to let everyone know what you’re all about (professionally, of course)!
4.You’re not taking advantage of the social aspect and engaging with users. The main point of LinkedIn is to be social –that is why users are given the ability to connect with other users, share updates, and like and comment on posts. As a user you should be spending some time, at least once a week, pursuing engagement. Like and comment on some posts, add new connections, or share an update or two! Additionally, don’t hesitate to join some Groups that are relevant to your field, and engage with members there as well. For example, as someone in the field of social media marketing, I am a member of several groups, such as Social Media for Business and Twitter Marketing 2.0.
5.You don’t have a profile picture, or you’re using the wrong one. Did you know that your profile is 11x more likely to be viewed if you have a profile picture? This is one detail that should not be skipped when it comes to using your profile to its full potential. If you do have a profile picture, be sure it isn’t a mirror selfie or a photo of you with a significant other or friends, or a depiction of partying. Additionally, you shouldn’t use the same profile picture that you use on your Facebook, as it is best to keep these accounts separated. A company or school photo works best, but if you’re like me and don’t have something like that to use, a regular headshot should do just fine.
Your LinkedIn profile should display all the reasons why you would make a good employee and why it is in an employer’s best interest to hire you. On the other hand, it can also help job seekers decide if you are someone they would want to work for. LinkedIn is a place to show your professional side – but you can still do so in a way that allows you to be yourself. Keep these tips in mind when creating or editing your LinkedIn profile, and you’ll have a much better chance at reaching your goals and achieving success!