Professional social networks like LinkedIn are a great way for professionals, experts, companies and job searchers to connect with one another. Like any social network, LinkedIn does take a bit of work in order to see benefits. If you have an account with LinkedIn there are some things you may be doing wrong.
Below are five common mistakes professionals make on LinkedIn.
- Using it only for job searches. One of LinkedIn’s most powerful tools is the job search, as you can tap into the hidden market of jobs, or reach out to contacts for potential for potential openings, or to hire them. The only problem with this is: Many LinkedIn users only use the network when they are actively looking for a job. You should make an effort to keep your profile and connections up-to-date and be active even when you’re not looking for a job or to hire.
- Having an incomplete profile. One of the key aspects of any social network is your profile. It’s the online representation of who you are, and an incomplete profile is like an incomplete picture of who you are. At the very least, you should have information about all the important companies/jobs you’ve had and your main achievements associated with them. Having industry recognized keywords sprinkled in helps as well; it makes you and your expertise easier to find.
- Not belonging to groups. The groups we associate with make up a large part of who we are. LinkedIn is no different and has a ton of professional groups, including alumni and industry specific groups. Joining these groups is a good idea as you can connect with colleagues and other professionals, share your experience and keep your finger on what’s going on; maybe even find your next big business idea.
- Not making connections. We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: LinkedIn is all about connections. If you only connect with people when you need something you will reduce the efficiency of the network. You should be actively looking for people that you know - personally or professionally - to connect with. At the same time, don’t connect with anybody and everybody, LinkedIn should be your online professional network - only connect with people you know or have met.
- Not a team effort. With other social networks like Facebook, colleagues are usually against connecting with workmates. While this is probably a good idea for Facebook, after all, who wants their boss seeing pics from your weekend shenanigans? LinkedIn is different, it’s beneficial to connect with your current colleagues as the main idea of LinkedIn is to establish professional connections. The best place to start making connections is your current job, so encourage your team members to have profiles and connect with each other.