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LinkedIn: MISTAKES TO AVOID NOT TO BE OUT

  • JWB Post
  •  January 24, 2014

Having a profile is a great first step, but if you’re like many professionals, you could probably leverage LinkedIn better to help you reach your career and job search goals. Take a close look at your profile and how you use the network and make sure you aren’t making these mistakes on LinkedIn.

Your profile is full of typos

Unfortunately, LinkedIn doesn’t have a built-in spell checker. But your Web browser might. Safari, Chrome, and Firefox underline misspellings in red. Bottom line, whatever you use: Be as careful on LinkedIn as you would be with a paper resume.

You have no picture in your profile

Studies have shown that profiles with pictures are much more likely to get clicked on LinkedIn than those without. Even if you have a picture, do not get LinkedIn and Facebook confused, says Brown. Facebook is for personal pictures, LinkedIn is for professional ones. So, don’t put a picture with your dearest one.

Don’t Link FB and Linked In

A lot of people link to their Facebook profiles from their LinkedIn pages. Don’t do this. It’s best to keep the two profiles separate. The same like a professional matter is different from a personal one.

 You haven’t put any thought into your profile title

Many professionals who are looking for jobs with old titles as headlines. Always be honest in your headlines, even if you’re currently unemployed. There are multiple ways to say it in an attractive way.

 You’re not personalizing LinkedIn connection requests

When you connect to someone for the first time on LinkedIn, don’t just use the generic message option, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” Take a few moments to write something personalized. Also, never lie about how you know the person. Lying is almost a guaranteed way to kill your chances at connecting.

You’re connecting people from LinkedIn on phone

LinkedIn’s mobile app lets you connect to people with a click—but you can’t customize the message. You also run a greater risk of typos on your phone. It’s always best to conduct the bulk of your LinkedIn activity from your computer, where you have all the features available.

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You haven’t created a unique LinkedIn URL, or Web address

To customize your URL, select “Settings” in the drop down under your name on the top right corner of your LinkedIn home page. Then choose Public Profile Settings, and scroll down to “Your Public Profile URL.” There you can customize the link. Try to get as close to your first and last name as possible. Avoid cutesy nicknames or usernames.

You’ve never bothered to fill out summary

Filling out a summary of your LinkedIn profile is crucial if you want to pop up in search results.

When stalking other people on LinkedIn, you don’t make yourself anonymous

Any LinkedIn user can see who’s viewed their profile recently, but if you limit your public profile settings, less of your information will be revealed to the person you checked out on LinkedIn. The tradeoff: You won’t be able to see who’s visiting your profile, either.

You haven’t broken your profile out into sections

A lot of profiles are just one lonnnggg page. But LinkedIn offers a “section” option, so you can break your resume into different parts, highlighting certain jobs and making it easier for others to scan. For example, rather than listing every job and membership under “Experience,” you can break it out into sections such as “”Volunteering,” “Certifications,” or “Organizations.”

You list “skills” that LinkedIn doesn’t recognize

There are a lot of skills LinkedIn recognizes, but if you write something obscure, it doesn’t do you much good. When you start typing a skill on your LinkedIn profile, make sure it appears in the dropdown menu. If it doesn’t, it may be spelled wrong, or it’s not a frequently searched item, which won’t help your resume get found by recruiters. Stick to the thousands of skills LinkedIn already has in the system and your profile will pop up more often in search results.

You don’t have (credible) recommendations

Make sure the recommendation someone writes for you isn’t applicable to every other candidate.

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You’re not using advanced search tools or the Companies tab when hunting for a job.

If you use the advanced search tab, you’re much more likely to turn up relevant career opportunities. Instead of just searching by the name of the company or person, you can search by keyword, industry, location, and more. Also, the Companies tab shows you which companies currently have job openings. Click on the Companies tab at the top of your LinkedIn page, then click the second tab, “Search Companies.” Then you can search by relevance, or by an advanced keyword search. It’s much more efficient than using the broad job-search feature on LinkedIn.

Are you ready now to become more efficient job seeker?

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