How often do you check your LinkedIn profile? We bet not nearly as often as your Twitter or Facebook. Well, that is where most of us go wrong. While it is important to be up-to-date with social networking, nowadays it is equally important to have an active LinkedIn profile. This is the professional networking hub where most business relationships are formed, in addition to recruitments and background checks happen these days. Employers have recognized it as a very important tool. However, many people make mistakes with their LinkedIn profile that might prove detrimental to their career. We list out a few of the mistakes that you should avoid making…
- Wrong Profile picture: Your profile picture is the first thing that an employer notices when looking for profiles on LinkedIn. A profile without a photo is generally ignored, but that doesn’t mean that you put a picture from a party in that sexy dress you wore. The photo should be a professional looking headshot. Don’t put up pictures with your significant other, pets or babies no matter how much you love them. Also, the photo should be a current one, not something from five years back!
- Not having a crisp summary: While the picture can help your profile to just get noticed, you’ll not go anywhere if you are unable to articulate your professional bio and the value you bring to the table in a clear and concise manner.
- Embellishing facts: Fill in all the details as honestly as you can and do not inflate your credentials, especially your educational qualifications because it can easily be confirmed. In 2012, Scott Thomson, the then CEO of Yahoo was fired after it was discovered that he had lied about his educational qualification in his resume.
- Being inactive: As mentioned earlier, people generally don’t log in to their LinkedIn profiles as often as they should. This might be one of the reasons why their profiles don’t get noticed by the right people. Be sure to frequently update your status with some professional news. And, if someone comments on it then reply to them and take the discussion forward.
- Treating LinkedIn as Twitter and FB: One of the common mistakes that people make is using LinkedIn on the same lines as Twitter and Facebook. While FB and Twitter are tools for social networking, LinkedIn is a professional resource and should be used with restraint. Avoid posting your personal updates and also don’t merge it with any of the other profiles.
- Sending random add requests: Be careful with who you try to connect with on LinkedIn. If you want to connect with someone that you don’t know personally then do a proper research on him or her and then send a request stating the purpose as to why you want to connect.
- Asking people you barely know to recommend you: Don’t ask new connections to endorse you. People who know you well or have worked with you should be your endorsers as it will sound authentic to the employer browsing through your profile.
- Not joining any groups: Just like Facebook, LinkedIn too has groups that you can subscribe to. But, unlike Facebook, these groups are professional groups in which you can get connected with other professionals with similar interests. You can join up to 50 groups here so join in and show your interests and make some noise for people to know that you’re on LinkedIn.
- Sounding negative and criticizing: People generally get drawn to positive people and avoid negative ones. It will help your career if your profile exudes positivity. Apart from that, don’t post any negative or critical comments on anyone’s post. If you don’t like it then ignore it or send a private message to the concerned person.
- Not taking parts in discussions: In order to increase your profile page views and attract more people to connect with you, make occasional comments and take part in discussions to demonstrate your knowledge on a particular topic. But don’t overdo it and write something that is completely unrelated, or worst of all, incorrect.
- Don’t stick to the default URL: This is perhaps one of the most common mistakes that people make. They tend to keep the default URL link for their profile on LinkedIn. You can instead change it to a personal URL by a simple process. Click Edit Public Profile Settings in the top right and then edit your Public Profile URL to your name. This will help you build your personal brand.
We at Unspun Consulting Group can help you to build a great Linkedin Profile, look forward to seeing you on LinkedIn!