LinkedIn is such a wonderful tool to sell yourself to prospects and potential customers, clients and employers. Unfortunately, a lot of people make a lot of mistakes and don't fully utilize LinkedIn to its full potential. Here are the top 10 mistakes that I see people make:
- Unprofessional photo. LinkedIn is not Facebook. This is not a place where you should have on a baseball cap or be dressed inappropriately for your position. You should be represented exactly as people see you in your day-to-day work environment. If you're a police officer, you should be in uniform, and a banker better be in a suit and tie.
- Not using a custom URL. You can change your URL where it says Public Profile/edit. Use your name, because this is a public link that you can use in marketing materials. Do this now before somebody else takes it.
- Incomplete employment history. Your employment history is a powerful tool for people to find you. It is common for people to search employees of companies they worked for in the past to reconnect with old friends and associates. If you're not there, you can't be found as easily.
- Not listing your specific URLs. Don't be satisfied with the default, "My Company," or "My Blog." By simply dropping down to "Other," you can customize these links to read your company's name. IE, "Grow My Company."
- Using your company email address as your contact email. Unless you own the company, you should use a personal email address. If you ever leave the company, and no longer have access to that email address, you will lose everything that you've built on LinkedIn.
- Not adding your LinkedIn profile address to your email signature. You've done all this work, flaunt it. Let everybody you email have easy access to the most complete info they could possibly find about you.
- No recommendations. This makes people wonder why nobody has recommended you. Let friends, co-workers, clients, and employers sing your praises. These recommendations are extremely valuable insight for anyone considering hiring you for any reason.
- Incomplete educational information. Like former employment, this is a strategy to be found. People search for people they went to school with. It's an instant bond and common ground.
- Neglecting your connections. A critical key to your network is a robust and diverse list of connections. LinkedIn is built around establishing connections, so you are of little value to the LinkedIn community as a whole if you don't actively and consistently mine connections. This is not something that just happens. They won't come just because you built it. Work it, work it!
- Not monitoring the answers component. Answering and asking intelligent questions provides an opportunity of you to raise awareness of yourself.
There are many things that can set you apart on LinkedIn. These are just a few of the more glaring mistakes that I notice on a regular basis.
Image Credit: Microsoft