Linkedin is an awesome networking tool but like any tool, if you don’t take care of it, use it improperly, or not at all, it isn’t going to help you. Just having a Linkedin profile isn’t enough. It’s not something you can just “set and forget”.
Think of Linkedin as a kind of relationship. You need to check in with it regularly. You have to nurture it. You need to, uh…..tweak it now and then ?
It’s out there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week presenting you to the world. If you want it to work for you and not against you, give it the kind of respect and attention it needs and deserves, and you will reap the benefits.
How do you do that?
Start by fixing these 10 Linkedin “don’ts”
DON’T forget to complete your profile
Complete as many sections of the profile as you can. You should fully utilize the space, especially the 120-character headline, the 2000-character summary, and the skills endorsement section that has room for 50.
DON’T exclude your photo
According to John Nemo (founder and CEO of Linkedin Riches), “members who include a photo receive up to 21 times more profile views and up to 36 times more messages”.
But you can’t have just any photo. It needs to be a well-lit, head and shoulder shot of you smiling with no sunglasses in front of an uncluttered background. No poses with the kids, dogs, spouse, or anything/anyone else. And avoid a selfie.
DON’T exclude or be vague about location
Most recruiters, hiring managers, and HR use location as prime selection criteria when conducting an advanced search on Linkedin. In many cases, they will drill down the search to city, so if you show only the country or just the province/state, you reduce your chances of being found.
By excluding your location entirely, you might not come up in a search at all. The point is, if you’re in job search mode, it’s best to be as transparent and specific as possible.
DON’T be a taker
You’ll get more out of networking on Linkedin (or anywhere else for that matter) when you focus on being of service to others first. Even if it’s just asking the simple question “how may I help you?”. People will respect and appreciate that.
Don’t ever ask for a job or send your résumé to someone you don’t know right after you connect with them.
DON’T set it and forget it
Your LinkedIn profile should evolve as you do over the course of your career. To maximize its effectiveness, you need to be an active user. Regularly add new connections, post status updates, share and comment on other peoples’ updates.
To further position yourself as an industry expert, you should be contributing your knowledge and insights by writing articles and participating in conversations on Linkedin groups.
DON’T send generic invitations to connect
If you’re sending invitations to connect to people you don’t know, you’ll get a way better response if you include a short personal note.
You have only 250 characters, so you’ll want to maximize its effectiveness by stating who you are, why you want to connect, and thanking them.
DONT be spammy and annoying
Technically, you’re supposed to connect with just people you “know”, so if you’re reaching out to strangers you have to take a very professional approach so that you don’t look like you’re spamming people.
After you connect with someone (whether they accept your invitation or vice versa), don’t immediately ask for something or send them your résumé until you have started a dialogue and developed a bit of a rapport.
DON’T love them then leave them
The whole point behind Linkedin is to build and nurture your network before you need it. That means, participating on Linkedin and keeping your network “primed” as much as possible. That way, when you need to reach out for help, you’ll get a way better response because your network feels they “know” you.
There’s nothing worse than suddenly looking for a job and feeling weird about contacting your connections for help because you never took the time to say something to them.
DON’T keep everything virtual
While it’s more convenient to do everything online, you’re missing out on opportunities to deepen those strategic relationships.
Make an effort to meet some of your connections in person, even if it’s just a quick coffee. Don’t have time for that? You can always schedule a video call which is almost as good as meeting in the flesh or at the very least, jump on a quick phone call with them.
DON’T add just anyone to our network
While you want to build your network as quickly as you can and ideally add as many connections as possible, you shouldn’t add just anyone. Have a strategy and a valid reason to connect with people. Either you actually know them, or they may be a beneficial connection to have.
Hi! I’m Diana.
I leverage over 10 years recruitment and sales/marketing experience to create attention-grabbing résumés, cover letters, and Linkedin profiles that help job seekers stand out, get noticed, and get hired. You can learn more about my story here and about how I can help you here.
Need help? That’s what I’m here for!
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