5 Things To Avoid On Linkedin
Having a LinkedIn profile can be an extremely beneficial asset to someone while in the process of growing in their career and expanding their professional social network. However, it could also do the opposite if not utilized correctly. There are many LinkedIn faux paus, so here are a few you should avoid falling into:
1. NEVER UPDATING YOUR PROFILE
This isn’t to say you have to update your LinkedIn everyday, but you should keep you profile up to date with all of your current work experience, education and certifications. It should also depict and be aligned with your current career goals. It's not necessary to list every position you've ever held here.
Unless a past position contributes to where you want to be in the future, it's a safe bet that you can leave it out for now. Not only does irrelevant and out of date work experience look weird to colleagues, but it could also be a bad impression on future clients or employers. You can look unorganized and confuse people as to what your primary target goals are. If you can't be bothered to update a simple profile it could suggest you are not too concerned when it comes to the subtle details when marketing and putting yourself out there.
2. TREATING IT LIKE A RESUME
Your LinkedIn profile shouldn't be a word for word copy of your resume. Don't worry, there will always be a time and a place for your actual resume should the opportunity arise. LinkedIn is a professional social networking platform, therefore it can be on the more relaxed and creative side of your professional image. You are using this platform to give insight to your other professional connections as to where you are in your career timeline, what direction you are heading, and to keep up to date on news in your industry. Your profile, similar to a resume, can assist in helping you find a new job, if that is something you're open to. Sometimes companies will post job listings, or recruiters will utilize LinkedIn to search for potential candidates to fill positions. If you just want to use your profile to connect with other professionals, you can easily click off the the feature that notifies recruiters that you are open to opportunities.
3. NOT HAVING A PROFILE PICTURE
This one seems rather obvious, but the first thing you should do when creating your LinkedIn profile is upload a picture. Speaking for myself, if I see a profile with no picture, I immediately think that it’s fake. It’s safe to say there are others that may feel this way too. Now this doesn’t mean you should upload just any picture. Even though you really love how you and your friends look at last years 4th of July party, you should pick a professional photo staring yourself that is appropriate for a work environment. Make sure your face can be seen clearly too, if you don't have many connections and you are just starting to build up your network, you want to make sure people can easily recognize and find you. This can get tough if you tend to have a more common first and last name. If you combined that with no photo or a poor one at that, it's not going to make things easy for you, your future potential clients and new professional friends.
4. HAVING NO SUMMARY
A summary is an extremely important part of any LinkedIn profile, but however it is many times overlooked. The summary is your chance to speak about who you are, your goals, and aspirations. Utilizing this part of the platform gives viewers a chance to get a preview into your personality beyond just your credentials. Think of it as the summary on the back of a book. Obliviously, just staring at the cover isn't going to tell you or give you a true glimpse as to what you will be reading. There will be covers that could have amazing artwork, but littered with plot holes. You don't want to ever judge a book by it's cover, so write a summary that would make viewers want to pick you up and read into you more.
5. IGNORING MESSAGES AND NOTIFICATIONS
LinkedIn has a great system for notifications. It’ll update you when someone in your network makes a career change, has a work anniversary, when someone views your profile and more. Making it extremely easy to stay up to date on changes, promotions, or new events going on in your networks career growth! It’s important to take note of these notifications and not shrug them off because you can use them to your advantage. It's a great opportunity to reach out and reconnect with people you've met in past that are still in your network! Congratulate them, invite them out for a celebratory coffee or treat! These simple messages and gestures are a great way to form bigger and better business relationships. You never know, a small gesture can go a long way!
Have some tips from experience worth sharing? Feel free to share your LinkedIn tips in the comments below for other users to see!