Ouch! Here's why LinkedIn is not working for you
In the first of a four-part series to help you optimise the use of social media tools, we bring you advice on how to use LinkedIn.
With over 300 million users, LinkedIn is by far the most popular social media tool for professionals.
However, the truth is, by not using some of its most useful, a good number of users fail to maximise its benefits and hence end up losing out on opportunities.
If used optimally, LinkedIn can be a storehouse of information and an excellent platform where you can build new networks and shape your career graph.
Here are five mistakes you are probably doing with your LinkedIn profile:
1. Not having a profile photo, and having a boring, generic headline
Always have a professional profile photo for LinkedIn, and put an interesting yet descriptive heading for your profile.
Think of them as the face of your profile.
2. You have too many recommendations
Ask recommendations but only to the one's who you think will vouch for you even in real life.
It may be your former boss, or your well connected professional friend.
Asking for too many recommendations makes the credibility of those recommendations questionable.
3. You've not made your profile 'public'
This is a default feature but some people (sometimes by mistake) make their profile 'private' thus hiding all their information and making them unapproachable.
This in a way back fires on the idea of having a Linked In account in the first place.
4. You're being too pushy
You can only send a LinkedIn invite to a person so many times but if you over do it, he may ban you from his/her connections forever.
It is necessary to maintain professionalism and invite only those who you deem may be the proper candidates for a particular task.
5. You're being overly reliant on LinkedIn job postings
LinkedIn is just one of the many sources to help you find a job, but it cannot be the only source where you may find one.
Make it a secondary source, but never make the mistake of being over reliant on LinkedIn for the sake of a job posting.
The author is CEO, MindShift Interactive, a digital media agency.
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Image: Not having a profile photo on LinkedIn might not go down well with your future employer.
How to optimise your LinkedIn account
Meanwhile these are things that you must do when you're on LinkedIn:
1. Be connected to recruiters
Make sure you are well connected to your former and current recruiters.
Almost all companies go through your LinkedIn profile to get a fair idea of your professional life and how it has panned out.
2. Have the right keywords
Your summary is what gets you located when recruiters are looking for the ideal candidates.
Spend some time on your summary and make sure it has all the right keywords which will make you easily spottable.
3. Keep your profile updated
One common mistake many profile holders on LinkedIn commit is that they do not update their profile regularly.
It is necessary to do so as you never know you may have been short-listed for a good position somewhere, but your old qualifications led to you loosing out on that job.
4. Aggressively stalk your network
Keep a track of your connections and keep good connections with the one's doing good on the professional front.
This in turn may just help you improve your connections and thus may lead to a job opportunity in the future.
5. Post relevant content from your profile
What you post from your profile speaks volumes about you as a professional.
You can post research reports, about new connections and new postings.
Try not to post about stuff that you would usually see around on Twitter, Facebook and other popular networks; it may just be irrelevant and considered unprofessional for LinkedIn.
Image: Have the right keywords and play down the recommendations on your profile.