Basic Mistakes You’re (probably) Making on LinkedIn
Basic Mistakes You’re (probably) Making on LinkedIn
Did you know that 93% of recruiters will check a job applicant’s social media profile before contacting them?
That's a HUGE number of potential clients, candidates, contacts, hiring managers etc. and a large part of this of this ‘online stalking’ will take place on LinkedIn.
Below I'm going to reveal the most common mistakes that people make (you might recognise some of them from your own LinkedIn profile).
1. Using an unprofessional photo (or no photo at all).
If you're serious about using LinkedIn as a tool to advance your career, I'd recommend using a professional photo. Not an image of you with your pet, and no weird hats or other inappropriate props. If possible, consider having a professional photographer take a high-quality head shot for you to use on LinkedIn, Twitter and your business website. It's never acceptable to upload a Selfie. EVER!
2. Poor grammar and misspelled words.
You won't impress anyone if your LinkedIn profile is full of grammar and spelling mistakes. Before letting your profile loose to the world, go through it with a fine-tooth comb, ensuring that there are NO mistakes. Have a trusted friend review your profile before it goes live.
Everyone hates a typo.
Even if it’s just one minor mistake, it can completely ruin your credibility.
If your profile is already live – check it again – now.
3. "Collecting" connections.
Some people go crazy trying to collect connections with all sorts of people, whether or not they have anything in common. Be strategic about who you choose to connect with. You don't need thousands of connections, just the right ones.
If you’re just starting out in your career but appear to have 5,000+ connections, then it’s obvious that you’ve just connected with a load of people you don’t know.
Connecting to a load of people, in a variety of industries that have nothing at all to do with your industry will have a negative impact on your LinkedIn search results.
It’s good to build up a network on LinkedIn, but adding everyone you ever come across is just plain obvious (and very unproductive).
4. Spamming your connections.
Personally, if I see that one of my connections has emailed me alongside dozens of other contacts I immediately think two things. My contact has been too lazy to message me directly and secondly, the message can't be that important (if it was, they wouldn't have 'spammed' dozens of people at the same time).
5. Using the standard connection invitation text.
Instead of using the standard text when you send out an invitation for a new connection ("I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn"), tailor the message to the recipient. Not only will you increase your chances of connecting, but you will also provide the person with a reason to network with you in the future. People who are using LinkedIn correctly want to be connected to people who make them look good and can benefit their existing network.
6. Not Responding to Messages and InMails
If you use the platform correctly, you will probably get mail and connect requests from others. Respond right away and try not to pre-judge. Somebody that doesn’t look like they would add value may be your next big client or candidate. Respond in a timely manner, even if they can't offer you anything immediately beneficial.
7. You participate in too many "Quizzes"
LinkedIn is a professional networking site. Not a platform to demonstrate how quickly you can solve a math problem or articulate your way around an irrelevant riddle. How many "geniuses" do you really think it takes to work this out?
8. You post and publish STUPID photos/pictures
You share or post unprofessional photos. WHY? Cartoons and 'comedy sketches' have a place in today's digital society, but they do not belong on your PROFESSIONAL LinkedIn page. If you're in doubt, before posting a photo ask yourself "Would my CEO publish this photo on their profile". If the answer is NO, then you know what to do.
9. You’ve Not Completed Your Profile.
It’s true. You can attach your CV to your LinkedIn profile, but I wouldn't advise it.
Firstly, recruiters who are stalking you, after already reading your CV, will gain no extra information or clarification from this.
Secondly, it’s more difficult to access and recruiters who just want a really quick overview will be put off!
At the very least, your profile should include these sections:
- Your Name.
- A relevant and informative headline.
- Your location.
- Industry and specialism.
- A thorough summary.
- Your past experience.
- A contact email (and phone number)
It’s also nice to include a simple section about your hobbies and interests, just so recruiters know you have a life outside of work (everyone needs downtime).
10. Not using your status correctly.
You can use your LinkedIn status to update your contacts on what's going on in the market AND to share what’s going on in your professional life. Did you recently receive a promotion, win an award, complete a really successful project, raise money for charity, throw an event etc. Obviously, don’t come across too cocky. Just remind your connections that you’re there.
If you're not on LinkedIn. Create a profile, TODAY (and remember to follow the advice above).
While this list may not be the ultimate guide to using LinkedIn, if you follow these few basic points you'll get off to a good start.
Author: Dean Govier