Biggest Mistakes To Avoid On LinkedIn

Biggest Mistakes To Avoid On LinkedIn

Whether you’re currently looking to make a career change or not, your LinkedIn profile serves as an online digital CV, showcasing your career achievements and industry knowledge. LinkedIn also has a range of extra features that can serve you well in your job hunt and networking endeavours. However, by not following a few simple rules you could be jeopardising your chances of highlighting yourself to key influencers and future employers, so in this article we will look at some of the biggest mistakes you can make on LinkedIn and how to avoid them.

1. Updating your status too often / wrong kind of updates

Your aim should be to update regularly and keep it professional. Avoid updating your status multiple times each day and don’t fall into the trap of sharing irrelevant and personal updates – keep these kinds of updates for social networks such as Facebook.

Look to update your status 2 – 4 times per week (once per day is fine if you have a really interesting and topical comment to make or thought to share) and keep each update brief. You can share a file or a link in your updates, so be sure to let your connections know what the file / link is.

2. Sending too many connection requests / not personalising your requests

Whilst your aim should be to be bold and connect with people that can aid you in your job hunt or networking (and visa versa) you should limit the number of connection requests you make. Aim to start a conversation with your new connection and see where that gets you before you connect with another person – unless of course you’re connection with old friends and colleagues (this is in reference to individuals that you have not yet met or been introduced to).

Ensure that you connection requests are personalised and that you introduce yourself (briefly) and state your intentions – if you’re looking to network with them as they’re influential people within your industry then tell them exactly that. Also, look for ways in which you can help them. A 2-way professional relationship where you both help each other will be much more beneficial in the long run than one where you don’t give back, and you’ll also be seen as a strong connection, which could result in a powerful introduction to a new employer or recruiter.

3. Ignoring the powerful search features

LinkedIn has a very powerful selection of search features allowing you to dig deep into LinkedIn’s database of professionals, companies and updates, and find exactly what you’re looking for. There are a few more options available to you if you sign up to a premium account, however the standard funtionality is very good.

Searching within LinkedIn allows you to find professionals discussing topics of interest, connect with long lost friends and colleagues, and discover advertised jobs. If you’re looking to connect with recruiters within, for example, the oil and gas industry then the search features will help you to achieve your goals. Searching by keywords, location and industry you’ll be able to narrow down your search and pinpoint the indivudials who can help you in your job hunt.

4. Not keeping your profile updated

Your public profile on LinkedIn is like your digital CV. It allows people to have an overview of your career and experiences and presents you in a way that a traditional CV cannot. There are many other features such as recommendations from others, lists of publications you have written or been involved in, skills and expertise and much more, all of which can be as in-depth or elaborate as you like – although we always recommend that you keep your profile to-the-point and as brief as possible to represent you in the best light.

Ensure that you have updated your profile and listed your most important and recent experiences. Choose the best recommendations from others that you have – stick to around 5 – 8 recommendations (if you have that many) – and keep your summaries (for each listed experience) brief. Once updated be sure to keep it updated by reviewing it every month or two and update when necessary – if you’ve been involved in a new project then be sure to update your profile with it.

Conclusion

If you utilise LinkedIn’s powerful features it can aid you in your job hunt and on-going networking endeavours. By ensuring that you keep your profile constantly updated you will allow your connections (and potential connections) to have a good overview of who you are and what you have achieved. By updating your status a couple of times each week with relevant (industry) updates you’ll showcase yourself as a professional at the top of your game.

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