By now, you know that LinkedIn is a great resource for professionals in a job search. It’s a great way to enhance your in-person networking. Like in-person networking, there are right and wrong moves you can make that will affect your outcomes. Here are some mistakes users make on LinkedIn and other social networking sites.
Mistake #1: Posting an incomplete profile. If you are in a job search, the one resource you usually have in abundance is time. Take the time to add your previous work experience and the tagline or headline under your picture. That’s the equivalent of your 30-second elevator speech, and it appears every time your photo does. Speaking of photos,…
Mistake #2: Not including a picture. You may think you’re protecting your privacy, but a picture is important for a couple of reasons. LinkedIn user Kevin Cormac says, “People believe content more when it’s accompanied by the author’s photo. An online profile with no photo is a missed opportunity to reinforce your brand and engage people.” Don’t forget that many people struggle with names; I always take a look at the photos if I get a connection request from a contact whose name I don’t recognize. If you have a common name, you definitely need a photo. You want to make sure that the “Mary Smith” someone’s connecting with is really you.
Mistake #3: Inviting people you don’t know at all to join your LinkedIn network. Again from a post by Kevin Cormac: “You run the risk of them clicking on the “I don’t know” button or “Report as Spam.” As a job seeker you want to expand your network but [choose] quality over quantity. LinkedIn says that your network should represent your real connections. One definition of networking is: “the process of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other business people and potential clients and/or customers.” (Susan Ward, about.com.) If you connect with people who have no interest in your connections, career or outcomes, they won’t be helpful to you. You also can’t be very helpful to them.
Mistake #4: Not personalizing the default invitation to connect message. Change the “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message when you send out invitations. Remind your potential connection of how you know each other or where you met. Better yet, add a note about what they’re working on or what you have in common. (“I read your recent blog post on networking, and would like to keep in touch.”)
Anything worth doing is worth doing well, and LinkedIn offers suggestions for Students, Job Seekers, Entrepreneurs, Attorneys, Business Development, Consultants, Journalists and Non-Profits (look for the tips under the “More” tab and “Learning Center.” Log in and improve your profile today.
Find more jobseeker tips from LinkedIn here.