By J. Barbush
Remember when networking was something you did with your dad or mom and their circle? Your parents would mention to their friends, “Did you know my daughter is interested in advertising?”
Nowadays you don’t need a parental circle, or even your parents, to connect to people who can help with your career.
You do need a plan. Now that you can contact people so easily on LinkedIn, how will you use that access?
LinkedIn adds texture to a boring résumé. It brings your interests, charities, and portfolio to life in one place.
But it’s also easy to overindulge—like a college freshman at his or her first kegger—and embarrass yourself. Making a silly mistake on Facebook is one thing. Embarrassing yourself on LinkedIn could cost you a job or career.
Here are some common mistakes to avoid on LinkedIn:
Mistake No. 1: You don’t consider yourself a product.
Deconstruct what you like about your favorite brands. Are they funny, clever, consistent? Do they always deliver on their identities? Do they innovate? Do they have a competitive advantage? Keeping those considerations in mind will help you build a simple, tailored, smart profile.
Once you determine your personal product voice, incorporate it into your profile. Lead with a concise, well-written summary that details your capabilities and what you can contribute.
Mistake No. 3: You’re too social.
Stop thinking of LinkedIn as a social network. It’s a professional network. There’s a big difference in how you approach a social dinner versus a business dinner, right?
Use this analogy. Rather than focus on connecting with buddies, zero in on connecting with people you just met at a conference. You may not be as “social” with them as with your college buddies, but you do have a common business interest that will serve you much better on this platform.
Your headshot should also be professional. A suggestive shot or one that shows you partying won’t go over well in human resources.
See all 10 mistakes and the complete article
Job searching on LinkedIn offers the job seeker multiple benefits. Most importantly, internal and external recruiters use it to source talent. It is also helps you network – connecting with contacts who may help with identifying job opportunities, referrals, and offer advice and information.
Take care to manage your Linkedin profile properly. Mistakes can hurt your job search and your professional image. Consider these tips on what you shouldn’t do on LinkedIn.
1. Don’t leave your sub-headline to read your job title.
By default, your current job title is the default sub-headline (the text that appears under your name) for your profile. It typically reads something like Accountant at 123 Company. That doesn’t tell the employer much upfront. The sub-headline is one of several important areas that drive keyword density, so entice potential employers and recruiters to click on your profile by putting in a personal branding statement like Tax Compliance Specialist & Strategic Business Consultant for Fortune 500 Companies.
4. Don’t accept every connection that comes your way.
The bigger the network, the better it looks, right? Not exactly when you’re a job seeker. Yes, it’s good to have a big network of connections, but it also has to be appropriate connections. You want to show potential employers and recruiters that you have connections in the field and industry. For instance, if you are vying for a job in health care business development but your profile shows 90% of your connections are made up of contacts in random fields and industries, it’s not exactly informing employers and recruiters that you’re well-connected for the job.
See all 5 Mistakes and the complete Careerealism article
Below I’ve compiled a list of commitments that will get you results:
3) Commit to network, NOT sell.
LinkedIn is a tool designed for networking, it isn’t designed for selling. Many people connect with those they don’t know and then immediatly send them sales messages. Bad move. I hit delete and remove them as a connection. Focus on building relationships. Look at their profile to find things you have in common and mention those in your message to them in order to build the relationship.
7) Commit to spend at least 15mins on LinkedIn a day.
For my business LinkedIn is one of my most powerful lead generation tools. Fifteen minutes a day goes a long way! Just what can you do in 15mins?
Here’s an example of what I do daily:
- Post an activity: I’ll post what I am doing, an upcoming event or a link to an article.
- Click like, comment or share: I look through the activity feed and see what others are up to and click like or comment. If they posted something my followers would like, I share it.
- Check groups: I check my most important groups to see what has been posted and respond if appropriate. I interact in the conversations and sometimes start one.
- Check messages and invites: Of course I respond to any messages and look to see who has invited me to connect. If I don’t know the person I read their profile, check their website and then send them a message. I only connect to people I am willing to develop a business relationship with.
- Send a note: I find people I haven’t connected with in a while and send them quick note or a link to an article or event I think they will find interesting.
I don’t do all of these things every time, but throughout the week I will do all of them. I login to LinkedIn at least once a day for 15 minutes but I schedule time on my calendar to use it as a lead generation tool at least once week for about an hour at a time.
8) Commit to help others.
If you really want to be a powerful LinkedIn user, find ways to help others. Connect people you know who should be connected and let them know why. Invite people to groups they would be interested in. Share valuable information you have read that will interest them. Help them learn to use LinkedIn by sharing this article with them (shameless self promotion).
LinkedIn recommendations are a tremendous asset to your job search. You can quickly and easily point a potential employer to your LinkedIn profile and they’ll be able to see verifiable references and recommendations of the quality of your work and the results you deliver. Positive words can be powerful motivators.
So, how do you choose the right people to request a recommendation from? And how do you know if they’ll give you a good recommendation?
2. The Team Player
When you work in a team on a specific project and the collaboration is a success, that’s the time to ask your teammates to write a recommendation for you based on the outcome and collaboration of that specific project. You can also return the favor; since you worked together you’ll be able to easily attest to their work ethic, problem solving, communication, teamwork, fresh ideas, motivation—the list goes on…
5. The Board Or Volunteer Head
Are you an active member of a nonprofit or involved in volunteering for a great cause? Ask someone who oversees the organization to recommend you for the work you’ve been doing. Not only is this more positive PR for your profile, but it shows your interests and desire to help others.
Have some additional ideas for great LinkedIn recommendation requests? Share them here; I’d love to hear them! And while LinkedIn is on your mind I’d love to connect so feel free to send me an invitation here.
See all 5 people and the complete Careerealism article
Having a LinkedIn profile is a good start to connecting with recruiters and hiring managers, but you must do more than just create an account and list a few jobs in your profile.
A few of my previous articles highlight some of the key tasks to getting noticed on LinkedIn: How to Be LinkedIn to Recruiters and How to Add Recruiters to Your LinkedIn Network. Included in these articles are mentions on being part of Groups. Beyond what is suggested in those articles, I’d like to share some more ideas on Group participation.
Although this should be obvious, Group leaders are looking for relevant posts to attract and keep Group members. They will block you if you continually just submit generic links, mundane information that has little to do with the intent of the Group, and worse yet, promotions of your services (there is a separate section for this called Promotions).
Groups allow for recruiters to connect with you with some common bond – instead of just sending you a generic InMail message. When recruiters leverage LinkedIn to find candidates, they use key words (which should be in your profile) to find the right candidates.
When you show up in a Group, you two already have something in common (the Group), and you have moved towards the top of the list for getting reviewed and possibly contacted. Simply put, you’re easier to interact with – even more than a third-level connection.
Feel free to connect with any recruiter in a Group that looks to be working within your field. They have selected this Group for a reason – they too, want to be found. If they are in a Java Programming Group, generally, it is not because they want to learn more about coding in Java. They want to network with Java experts.
See all 6 tips and the complete article