LinkedIn is a powerful tool for furthering your career - but only if you use it right. Lizzi Hart of the UK's Graduate Recruitment Bureau has 5 mistakes you might be making that can cost you networking opportunities...or even a job.
LinkedIn is possibly the most useful professional networking service out there, and you need to have an account to get ahead in your career.
However, many find themselves at a loss once they’ve signed up. To make sure you don’t fall victim to these 5 easy mistakes, read on and adjust your profile accordingly.
LinkedIn Mistake #1: Doing Nothing
So you found this new thing called LinkedIn. Ooh shiny! But what now?
Well, firstly you need to make your profile as reflective of your life as possible. Fill your profile with work experience, education, skills, links to your work, links to your websites, with a peppering of your personality where you can.
Next you need to find people. Use your email contacts, search for people who work at your company, went to your school, or utilize the suggested contacts section. There’s so much to see and do on your newest social networking site, so go out and do it.
Just be sure that you follow the rules for proper LinkedIn Etiquette.
LinkedIn Mistake #2: Posting an Inappropriate Photo
Consider LinkedIn as your online resume. You wouldn’t put a cropped night out photo (in which your friend’s shoulder is taking up 30% of the frame) on your resume, would you? Well, don’t do it for LinkedIn either.
Your LinkedIn photo should include only one person - you - and no one else. It also shouldn't show you in an unsavory outfit (steer clear of ultra fancy or revealing outfits) or be from 10 years ago.
Think: professional, classy, and pleasant.
LinkedIn MIstake #3: Linking to Your Personal Social Media (When You Shouldn’t)
Is your Twitter account really the true representation of your professional lifestyle when all you do on it is moan about your love life at 2am?
If this is the case, don’t link to it, and make sure it’s set to private in case any future employer stumbles upon it. Also, unless you want your new connections seeing photos from last night’s boozy bar crawl, make sure your Facebook profile is private in case a potential contact or employer decides to look you up.
LinkedIn Mistake #4: Failing to Use the Site
Did you know you can add links, photos, and files to each entry under work experience and education?
So why not include a photo of that book you helped to edit? Or that photoshoot you assisted on? As you already know, visual social media is all the rage these days, so having pretty pictures sprinkled over your bragging rights is the perfect way to make your profile engaging. See even more tips here.
LinkedIn Mistake #5: Not Controlling Your Privacy Settings
Are you aware that even if you just glance at someone’s profile on LinkedIn, they will automatically get a notification that you've been peeking at their profile and your visit will be logged?
If you haven’t already, make the decision to either stalk anonymously (meaning you can’t see who looks at your profile too) or tread carefully and leave your footprint visible. Also bear in mind, any curious George on the site can also see who you’ve been peaking at and if there’s a certain trend that you don’t want other professionals to see (let’s say you’ve managed to find a few supermodels’ profiles), be sure to change your privacy settings.
LinkedIn image courtesy of Shutterstock.