Eight LinkedIn mistakes you need to stop making right now

Are you on LinkedIn? And if so, are you confident you’re doing it right? Read eight LinkedIn mistakes you need to stop making right now!

Did you know that while as many as 93% of companies use LinkedIn for recruiting, only 14% of LinkedIn users check their accounts often? Or that just 36% of job seekers are active on the platform?

The fact is that no professional today can afford not to have a LinkedIn profile – whether you’re looking for a new job, seeking freelance clients and projects, or just want to connect with other business owners and raise your online brand.

But you can’t just join LinkedIn and throw any old profile together. Your LinkedIn profile is a key element of your online reputation (it’s often one of the first search results for your name), so you need to ensure it represents you in the best possible light.

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Eight LinkedIn mistakes you need to stop making right now

To help you create a profile you’ll be proud of – one that will attract offers and opportunities – here are eight mistakes you need to stop making on LinkedIn right now.

1) Not showing your face

According to statistics, you can increase your LinkedIn views by 21 times just by adding a photo. Adding your photo will also boost your chances of receiving a message via LinkedIn (presumably business-related and not just to say ‘You look nice’…) by 36 times.

But not just any old photo. You need to make sure your LinkedIn profile photos abides by five golden rules.

2) Being shy about your skills

In 2014, the most popular skill on LinkedIn that got people hired was ‘statistical analysis data mining’. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what that means (we’re not 100% sure either!). The important point is to recognise that your LinkedIn skills matter.

So if you don’t understand how to properly convey your skills on LinkedIn (by properly setting up your skills section and using keywords cleverly) then you could be missing out on your perfect job.

3) Being motivated. And passionate

While you’re obviously desperate to make a positive impression on LinkedIn, you don’t want to make the mistake of telling people that you’re motivated, passionate or creative.

Why? Because these are the most over-used words on LinkedIn (others are track record, enthusiastic, successful, driven, leadership, strategic and extensive experience). And if you use them, you risk your profile being lost in a sea of other blah profiles.

What you really want to do is ensure your profile stands out. That it perfectly captures the unique talent you are, and appeals directly to the very people you want to notice and hire you.

And you don’t do this through meaningless buzzwords. You do it through carefully chosen keywords, and by demonstrating the qualities you want to convey through your achievements.

4) Spending time on LinkedIn

While we recommend you carefully research your keywords and set up your profile properly, we’re not asking you to send time on LinkedIn. You need to invest it.

As LinkedIn themselves say: “People spend time on other networks, but they invest time on LinkedIn.”

So what’s the difference between the two? You need to remember that any time you spend on LinkedIn is an investment in your career or business. And your time is limited and precious. So what you don’t want to do is just spend time tinkering on your profile without understanding what you’re doing.

Instead you need to invest your time wisely by ensuring you understand exactly what needs to be in your profile, and how to best represent yourself to the people you want to attract.

6) Broadcasting your every move

If you are investing time on your LinkedIn profile, you may want to check your privacy settings first.

You see, when you make changes to your profile, LinkedIn let’s everyone know. So, for example, if you change your status, all your contacts will receive an email asking them to congratulate you on your new position.

So if you don’t want to irritate people with endless updates, or you’d rather keep all your tweaking under the radar, make sure you turn off your notifications first.

7) Not having a profile at all

Learning that having a brilliant LinkedIn profile helps your job search isn’t probably much of a surprise. But discovering that not having one hurts it may be.

Not only are you reducing your chances of getting found by the 93% of recruiters who use the platform, but some say that not having a profile is a ‘red flag’ for them. According to staffing agency director Laura Lashbrook:

“If we are staffing for a recruiting or sales/marketing/business development role, then it is a big red flag if a candidate has either no profile or a limited profile with a low number of connections.”

Even if they’re not put off by the lack of profile, you’re making it harder for them to add you to their list of potentials. As Michelle Kedem, a partner at search firm On-Ramps says:

“… if someone tells me I should talk to (x person), the first thing I’m going to do is look them up on LinkedIn. Using LinkedIn, I can quickly figure out whether someone is worth speaking to, which saves me a lot of time.”

8) Leaving your summary blank

We understand. It’s a daunting thing to write. And it’s all-too easy to leave it blank ‘for now’ while you’re rushing through the rest of your profile.

But if you don’t go back and finally tackle your LinkedIn summary, you’re not just missing a trick but virtually the whole magic show.

Your LinkedIn summary is your chance to wow. To give interested people a glimpse of your best bits – not just your greatest achievements and attributes, but your personality too.

It’s the first go-to section for many recruiters. A quick scan is often all they need to do to decide whether they want to give your profile any real consideration or not. It’s also the perfect opportunity to get your keywords into your profile.

So you need to write your LinkedIn summary now – and write it carefully.

Need help writing your LinkedIn summary? We’ll show you how to complete your WHOLE profile right now – and avoid these mistakes and more.

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