Not getting the kind of traction you hoped for out of your LinkedIn profile? You’re not alone. Often considered the red-headed stepchild of Twitter and Facebook, lots of people complain that the social network seems like a ghost town. However, the truth is that LinkedIn is a completely different beast and goes by a completely different set of rules. If you want to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile, double and triple-check that you’re not making the following mistakes – they could be the reason you’re being left out in the cold.
1. Picture Problems
We could write a whole post about picture problems on LinkedIn, but we’ll just cover the basics. First, make sure you have a picture. Second, make sure it’s the right one. There’s a reason that LinkedIn exists – it’s for professionals. This means that the same profile picture you use for Facebook (you know, the one of your cat/baby/main squeeze) won’t cut it here. Get with the program and upload a professional image.
2. Cross Your T’s, Dot Your I’s
It should go without saying, but it’s common enough that we have to say something: PROOFREAD. There is nothing that will disqualify you in a person’s mind quicker than obvious typos, spelling, and grammar mistakes. Go through your profile with a fine-tooth comb and stop pushing people away before you’ve had a chance to interact.
3. It’s There To Be Used
It may sound funny, but one of the biggest mistakes people make on LinkedIn is that they simply don’t use it. Just like any of the other social networks, you have to be, well… social. Update your status from time to time and post like you would anywhere else, in a professional manner of course. Follow the companies you respect to know when job openings appear and join specific LinkedIn Groups for your industry.
4. Snooze Alert
Not everyone is a master LinkedIn profile creator, but the worst thing you can do on the network is be boring. Avoid passive voice like the plague and look for opportunities to use tangible descriptions whenever possible to leave a lasting impression. Also, personalize your default connection request to be unique and personable to get more people in your circle of connections.
5. All About You
Yes, it’s about you, but your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t be ALL about you – it should be more about how you fit into someone else’s picture. Think about it from the perspective of someone who’s looking for their next rockstar employee. Are they going to make the connection that because you have a title of Graphic Designer, you’re capable of drop dead gorgeous print publications? Don’t let them guess – change your job title to reflect your big strengths. EX: InDesign Pro Specializing in Gorgeous Print Publications for Small Businesses. Yeah, it’s a mouthful, but doesn’t it sound better to a prospective employer?
Becoming a LinkedIn pro may not be as easy as with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, but there are a ton of benefits for those that do learn to play the game. Stop making these common mistakes and you could see your LinkedIn profile reach new heights of popularity. Sprucing up your profile and getting more interactive could land you that dream job you’ve always wanted.