LinkedIn is the professional social networking site that we should all be utilizing for career success. As with all things, a little effort and research go a long way. Here is a listing of our Globe University 11 biggest LinkedIn fails. Avoid these at all costs to save embarrassment and job rejection and open the door for networking.
If you catch yourself doing any of these, take the time to fix them now!
- Lackluster profile – Put a little effort into your profile to show that you care. A bare bones profile is unlikely to get people to view your profile or let alone add you to their network. At minimum, input the basics and LinkedIn will show you how complete your profile is. It is worth the investment of time!
- Missing or Awful Picture – Your profile picture can say it all…in a great or a not so great way. First, make sure you have a picture! That being said, your picture should be a professional head shot, not a picture with someone else in it, a pet, a picture when you were younger, etc. Your picture should be up to date and reflect you. You can get professional head shots done at a reasonable price if you shop around.
- Missing or Poorly Written Headline – Make sure you use your headline! It is prime real estate! It summarizes who you are and what major skills you have. This will help with search results and getting your profile more traffic. If all else fails, many people opt to use their current job title and current company. Search for articles to help you maximize your headline.
- Lack of Connections or Desperate Connections – Make an effort to get a solid group of connections (around 30-50) so that people can see you are active on LinkedIn. Do not be desperate about who you try to connect with and make sure you actually know or have some connection to that person.
- Lack of Recommendations or Recommendations Overload – Two areas where one can go wrong here. Make sure you get solid recommendations that reflect your skills, projects and abilities. Be aware though that too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. Select recommendations that will best suit your goals rather than having 20+ recommendations.
- Using the Default Connection Request – Just like when a recruiter reads a template cover letter, your possible connection will be turned off by the lack of effort when you use the default connection request. Expert LinkedIn users will not accept requests unless you make the effort to personalize the request. Include how they know you or why they should connect with you.
- Spamming Your Content on Groups or Status Updates – This one drives me bonkers! People who just post their blogs, company sites or requests to come to their training over and over again in groups or as their status update should be locked away. Nobody wants to see the same stuff over and over again. Building relationships and getting people engaged will lead to more traffic. Posting and re-posting your stuff so that it will always show at the top of a group will turn people off.
- Never Really Being Engaged in Groups – When you are involved in a group, take the time to comment on others posts or ask questions. Get to know the feel of the group. Don’t just use groups as another way to post your content. You get what you give.
- Education Blunders – Be truthful about where and what schooling you’ve had. Please do not post what high school you attended.
- Using the default for Recommendations – Once again never, ever use the default for asking for recommendations. Do not ask for recommendations just to rack them up from people who really don’t know you well. Be purposeful about who you ask and why. I am a firm believer in asking people via phone or face to face if possible.
- Posting Links With No Comment –If you are just posting links to post, you are wasting your time. Think about why you are sharing the article. What makes it relevant or interesting for someone to read? Tell us how it’s significant or what stuck out to you.
Hope you enjoyed learning some of my personal gripes of LinkedIn fails that I see on a daily basis. I look forward to feedback or additions to the list!
For more information on how to avoid LinkedIn mistakes, check out this recent blog post.