If you’re in business you should be utilizing LinkedIn, as it’s a very effective way to find and connect with new customers, partners, suppliers and connections. Think of LinkedIn as the largest and most up-to-date database of businesses and business professionals in the world, because that is what it is and LinkedIn gives you free access to. However as with most things, people tend to make mistakes and this leads to missed opportunities, so let’s have a look at a few common LinkedIn profile mistakes.
Not Using a Professional Image
LinkedIn is the most professional of the social media platforms and it needs to be treated in a professional manner. This means that you need to utilize a professional looking photograph of you and not an image of you with your children, the dog or cat, leave that for Facebook. Similarly people connect and want relationships with people so don’t use your company Logo, use a great head-shot that represents you.
Not Using the Summary Area
Use the summary area properly, this means using good grammar, punctuation and symbols to separate the information you provide. Reading on a computer screen is difficult and requires a lot of white space and separation, especially as people tend to scan content. The summary area is a great place to explain either what you do, or what you want to do.
Not Using the Headline Area Correctly
To best utilize the headline area, notice how many characters shown and how the profile looks to other users. Use the pipe symbol “|” to separate words within the headline. Also notice that on the headline area near your picture, your current position as well as some of your past positions are shown. If these positions have nothing to do with what you want to do, change how it is seen.
Not Filling Out Your Profile Completely
There may be some areas of the profile that you may do not want to fill in. That’s okay, but do fill it out as completely as possible with accurate information, until you have an all-star rating. There is no reason to hide who you are on LinkedIn, that’s the whole point of LinkedIn.
If you’re looking to improve your career you should treat it like a resume. Build the resume for the job you want, not the job you have. Alternatively you can use your profile as a business development type area to network with others on that basis.
Not Asking Personally for Recommendations
You should aim to have recommendations that show up on your profile, but do not make the mistake of connecting to everyone and sending a mass message asking for recommendations. Take the time to personally invite each person to provide you a personalized recommendation by reminding them of your skills and what you did for them or by asking them to do it themselves based on what they know about you.
Not Editing for Typos and Grammar
One of worst things that can happen is to have a profile that has a lot of poor grammar and typos, have someone you trust look at your profile to see if they notice anything that needs correcting. Ideally you want to ask a few people to do this, as sometimes things are easily missed.
Not Creating a Personalized URL
LinkedIn provides a link that is just a few random letters and numbers, it’s important that you personalize it with your name, what you do, or your business name.
Not Submitting Samples of Your Work
Your profile allows you to include samples of your work. If you have no samples right now, create some. If you say you’re a speaker and presenter, upload a video showcasing this.
By maximizing your LinkedIn profile to attract potential connections, get more clients, and even find your next job will work if you take it seriously, fill it out completely, use professional language, a great photograph, and the right keywords and that you stay focused on what you want to achieve from LinkedIn.