MISTAKES WHEN BUILDING YOUR PROFILE
- Not personalizing your LinkedIn public profile URL. Get rid of the default chaos of letters and numbers and change it to “yourname” at the end of the URL (http://www.linkedin.com/in/katiemantooth)
- Not including a photo. Your content is more believable if it’s accompanied by a photo. Don’t leave the sketchy “shadow man” as your photo, and get someone to take a professional looking photo (not a cropped photo where if the rest of you were revealed we would find you and your best friends on the beach drinking your “beverage” of choice)
- Not adding links to websites or web pages. Link to your PROFESSIONAL website, VisualCV, blog, Twitter and any other online profiles (as applicable) so your people get to “know” you better.
- Not having a searchable professional headline that brands your unique promise of value and resonates with your target audience. Make sure your relevant key word phrases show up in your headline so that recruiters and hiring decision makers sourcing top candidates by searching LinkedIn will find you.
- Having no (or only 1 or 2) recommendations. Solicit recommendations that reinforce your brand and the best you have to offer.
- Not immediately generating chemistry in the Summary section with value proposition and differentiating positioning statements. Capture attention and convince people to continue reading through your entire profile. Include numbers. Sounds like writing your resume, doesn't it?
- Not including your “Interests” in the Additional Information section at the bottom of your profile. Talk briefly about your passions here and further generate chemistry to help hiring professionals get a feel for what kind of job candidate you are. Writing a brief bit about your favorite hobbies may attract those who share the same ones.
- Not reinforcing your executive brand throughout your profile.
- Not proofreading and re-proofreading and having someone else proofread your profile for typos and grammatical errors.
- Not having a 100% complete profile. Since I wondered for a while what it took, here’s what you need to be 100% complete: a current position, two past positions, education, profile summary, a profile photo, specialties, at least three recommendations.
WORKING YOUR LINKEDIN MEMBERSHIP
- Not updating your profile regularly. Refresh the “What are you working on?” network update as one way to stay top of mind with your network and let them know what you’re up to.
- Neglecting LinkedIn Groups. Join appropriate groups (great for job hunters), participate in discussions, and start your own conversations. Post articles and information that will be helpful to members.
- Inviting people you don’t know at all to join your LinkedIn network. You run the risk of them clicking on the “I don’t know” button or “Report as Spam”. Sure as a job seeker you want to expand your network but remember quality over quantity.
- Automatically accepting invitations to join someone’s LinkedIn network. Look at their profiles first and make sure you should connect with them.
- Not personalizing the default invitation to connect message. Change the “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message when you send out invitations.
- Not including a link to your LinkedIn profile within your email signature.
- Promoting yourself too heavily in LinkedIn Groups. You can easily turn people off and make them want to ignore you.
- Not checking out LinkedIn company profiles. See if your current and former companies have one and if companies of interest to you have one. Find out which co-workers on your company’s profile are busy on LinkedIn and connect with the ones you know. Research other companies’ profiles for market intelligence and due diligence.
- Overlooking the LinkedIn Jobs tab. LinkedIn brings together many job postings, some of which are exclusive listings.
- Not diving into LinkedIn Answers. Ask questions and provide answers within your areas of expertise. Position yourself as a subject matter expert.
And a bonus mistake to avoid:
- Not using the new LinkedIn and Twitter interface, updating your LinkedIn profile with all or select tweets. For that matter, don’t neglect the other ever-growing LinkedIn applications. As a job seeker you should be using many forms of social media, remember that!