Monday, August 5, 2013

Personal Branding on LinkedIn: 10 Mistakes to Avoid

By Carolyn Hyams at

It has almost become the default global network for all serious business people to connect, engage and share ideas due to its sheer size with over 175 million registered users.
From day one it was set up for the express purpose of  providing an easy to use portal to exchange ideas and network with like minded individuals. Its tone is more formal than Facebook or Twitter which seems to escape some people.

And for job seekers, it’s a brilliant place to showcase yourself and your personal brand. But, if you’re doing the following, you’re NOT doing your “Brand You” any favours:

#3. Don’t send people an invitation with LinkedIn’s default text.

It makes them think you couldn’t be bothered to write a personalized message. Why would they bother connecting with you? Give them a good reason, especially if they don’t know you.

Note: currently on smartphones, the iPad app and some pages on the LinkedIn website eg. “People you may know” – LinkedIn sends off the invite without giving you the opportunity to customize the message. LinkedIn needs to fix this, but in the meantime, avoid these when sending requests.

#7. Don’t be lazy when sharing links and updates.

Customize your message for LinkedIn. Many people post the same message on multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ instead of customizing their message. It irritates people when they see @Twitter handles and #Hashtags on LinkedIn status updates. Having said that, many don’t realise that if you click on the “Twitter handle”, the link will take you to their Twitter page, and if you click on a hashtag in LinkedIn, it will bring up search results for that keyword. Maybe it would irritate them less if they realized this. Anyway, my message is to take an extra couple of minutes to customize and you’ll reap the benefits.

#10. Don’t ask people who DON’T know you to write recommendations for you.

It’s awkward for them and you won’t get a recommendation that you’ll want to publish anyway. Remember, it’s not about the quantity of the recommendations, it’s about the quality of them. And for the record, tit for tat, reciprocal recommendations look dodgy.

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