LinkedIn Mistakes You’ll Want to Avoid
By Denver Regine Lark
Denver is a part of the TLC College Ambassador Program and attends North Carolina A&T University.
LinkedIn is becoming the world’s most rapid growing business-oriented social networking service. LinkedIn launched in 2003, and today LinkedIn has over 467 million users. So, you’ve decided to set up a professional account on LinkedIn but first you should be aware of the mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
The simplest mistake is not having a picture. You are seven times more likely to have your profile viewed if you have one. Not having a picture can lead to you missing opportunities. It is also very important to be careful of the picture you choose. The best LinkedIn profile picture would be a headshot and it doesn’t even have to be professional taken. The picture is meant to show you at your professional best, not your personal best. It is also very important to not misrepresent yourself.
We are all aware of the purpose of posting a status on your Facebook and Twitter is. It’s more of a personal update, opposed to LinkedIn being a professional one. On LinkedIn, you’ll want to post your most recent accomplishments and progress. It is great to post every few days to show you are active and engaged. It is important to remember that no one will know what you are doing if you are not showing it off.
Also, don’t leave your summary blank. Your summary is your way of selling yourself. This is where you can express your voice and personality. Since many people are competing for the same job and may have many of the same qualifications and education, filling out the summary can be how you stand out. You may even consider writing it in first person to be energetic.
You want your LinkedIn page to be as robust as possible. This can be done by listing your entire work history. Different from a resume, you’re not trying to use one page to target a specific position. You do not know what specific criteria or experience employers are looking for. Listing prior work experience or even odd jobs you had in the past may stand out to a potential employer.
LinkedIn also offers the opportunity to join groups related to your field of study or even personal interests allowing employers to narrow down their pool. You can also follow companies and keep a close eye on who’s coming and going allowing you to reach out to their hiring department when something becomes available.
Remember that LinkedIn is not Twitter! Therefore, choose quality over quantity. Do not use the standard connection request. LinkedIn automatically matches you with mutual connections as well as people who you may have previously worked with, making networking that much easier. Since employees appreciate your connections, they may even hire you because of who you may know in the industry.