Launched just over a decade ago, LinkedIn’s social media presence has swelled over the years, with recent statistics revealing it currently boasts over 259 million users across more than 200 countries.
Like all social media platforms, used properly, this professional online networking platform can really pay off; however, dabble in it, and you’re stuck with something that never really gets off the ground or, at worst, sinks.
But how easy is it to master? How do influential LinkedIn profiles compare to mere mediocre accounts? One thing’s for sure, you need to get the fundamentals right.
Here are four common errors you simply cannot afford to miss:
1. Remaining in the past – ok, so, you may have spent hours perfecting your profile, but what’s the point of taking the time and effort to do this if you don’t keep it updated? Not bothering, or forgetting, to update your information with the latest details, such as your job role, new training or objectives, will immediately undo all of your hard work. As simple as it sounds, keep your content fresh by updating it regularly, this can also include links and posts to the latest articles and industry news.
2. Say cheese! – not everybody likes to have their photograph taken but, like it or not, it’s a key piece of your LinkedIn profile. This means you need a clear, recent and professional, (not your latest holiday snap or a picture of you and the family), image of you next to your details. You are promoting your personal brand so make sure you do it properly.
And if you’re thinking of avoiding the hassle and pain by simply not including a picture at all, it’s the worst mistake you could make. Putting a face to a name helps to establish trust. Without it, you run the risk of appearing sketchy to say the least.
3. Online job forum – many people assume that if they’re not currently on the look-out for a job then they don’t need to be on LinkedIn. Wrong. There are many reasons to have a LinkedIn profile other than for job hunting. For example, professional/industry groups on LinkedIn provide engaging discussion forums and with some, the networks and knowledge can be vast.
Join the right groups that offer value and you can stand to benefit from exposed news and new ideas plus, a forum to demonstrate and showcase your expertise by joining in.
4. Scattergun approach – some people fire off invitations to other users in an attempt to grow their profile fast, however, it’s something LinkedIn really discourages.
The risk of connecting with anybody means that in the long term, you will end up with search results that consist of people you cannot actually get introduced to. Your search may return pages of potential connections that in reality, are too far removed to ask for an introduction. Really, you need to connect to people who you know, will be able to help you and who you can help.
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