LinkedIn is defined as «the world’s largest professional network», and if you are looking for a job or maybe just great new people that you can network with, it should go without saying that your profile needs to look professional. Here is a short list of what I have seen more than one person do on LinkedIn, that makes me lift an eyebrow, sometimes I even lift both.
1. Photos that are focused on something that is not your face. Have you seen the kind of photos of the staff on an «about the company»-webpage? That is what people want to see, not your cleavage, not your besties, not your cat, and not something that they would not put up on that page.
2. An empty profile On LinkedIn the most important part is to get your past jobs and education up there, so that people who think they know you will be sure, and possible new connections and even future employers will have a way to figure out what you are all about!
3. No recommendations or endorsements – these two are not just about your connections making an effort! It is perfectly fine to invite your old supervisor or maybe a current colleague to write a short and to the point LinkedIn-recommendation about your work! Just be polite (ask, do not at any point beg, nag or tell them they have to.) and maybe inlude some hints at what you would like them to mention!
Endorsements are people agreeing that they think you have a certain skill. You can add the skills yourself, which gives them something to just click on, rather than having to write a new skill out and do the work for you. It often also helps to endorse them for the skills you believe them to have – usually they will be happy to look over and endorse your skill(s) back!
4. Sending out the generic message when you want to connect with people is something I have witnessed both when teaching people about social media and as a LinkedIn-user. A large point of LinkedIn in general, is to network. However, if I get a generic message with a request to connect from a person I do not remember or do not know, I will either message them asking why in particular they are getting in touch or where I have met them, or I simply delete the request. The reason is not that I am a bitch, it is simply that while I love networking and getting in touch with new people on a general level, LinkedIn is my professional network, and neither of us will benefit if you do not know why you want to talk.
5. Not joining a single group is another mistake in my eyes. Firstly, places like a LinkedIn-group are amazing for intellectual discussion within your field of expertise and a great way to expand your knowledge. It is also a great way to casually drop your name and what you do, often! And another thing about groups is that the other people in that group are people you get instant access to sending direct messages to other members in that group via the group, taken they allow this feature.
I hope this was enlightening on some level, if you want me to do more on LinkedIn, be it the networking part or the B2B-marketing, let me know in the comments below!