LinkedIn is considered the largest professional global networking app used by recruiters and job seekers.
A LinkedIn profile has become an essential tool for the working professional - whether you’re searching for a new job, leveraging your current one, or simply exploring professional opportunities. As such, it is critical that your profile is structured correctly for recruiters to notice you, and that you are using the app to its full potential to give you the results you want.
Below, Shoaib Khan from Silver Ant Marketing, shares common LinkedIn blunders to avoid – and what to do instead:
Inappropriate or no image
Not having an image, or using an inappropriate one, is one of the biggest LinkedIn mistakes you can make. Your profile is seven times more likely to be seen if you have a profile picture. But it must be the right picture – one in which you project a professional and approachable image. You don’t need to hire a specialist photographer to take a fantastic photograph, as most mobile devices can produce a good shot for this kind of purpose. If you go this route, limit the use of filters, or avoid them completely.
Neglecting your status
Your LinkedIn status is where you update your network connections on your professional achievements and growth. It should be updated every few days to keep it fresh and to demonstrate that you’re active and involved. The best ways to do this include posting an update about a career advancement or development, or sharing a great piece of content you have published recently.
Overusing connection request
LinkedIn is not like Twitter or Facebook, where quantity trumps quality. LinkedIn networks serve the purpose of creating critical professional contacts that may be used for career prospects. So you don’t want to add everyone as a connection - relevancy is key here. Reach out to the people you want to work with, the people you currently know, and influencers within your industry.
Ignoring privacy options
When you are actively employed but looking for a new job, discretion is always advised. LinkedIn’s privacy settings allow you to actively seek new employment without your current manager or supervisor seeing. These are easy to locate: after signing in, simply choose “Settings” from the drop-down menu where your name appears.
No recommendations or endorsements
It is essential to have a complete LinkedIn profile. One of the ways to do this is through soliciting recommendations and endorsements from peers in your network.
A good strategy to use is to leave endorsements or recommendations for people you already know. After some time, contact them and request that they do the same for you. While it may feel a little awkward at first, don’t put this off out of fear of getting negative reviews. You should find that most fellow professionals are gracious about reciprocating an endorsement, especially if they know you or are familiar with your work.
Many believe that merely having a profile is sufficient. This kind of online behaviour is known as “lurking” – and it is unlikely to get you noticed.
Be active on your LinkedIn profile. Research companies, follow organisations you are interested in, and share relevant content that mirrors your professional interests.
Not defining your skills
The skills section is an important part of your profile. It should be completed in full and kept up to date, as this information demonstrates to prospective employers and recruiters what you are capable of doing. Because this section is not a professional CV, you are free to be a bit less formal in how you describe the abilities you possess here. Keep in mind that the purpose of this section is to help you stand out.