LinkedIn is such an awesome tool that I actually find myself using the app or site a handful of times each day; and I’m not even looking for a job. I just think it’s important to stay on top of industry trends, check in with former colleagues and/or read in-depth articles about staying motivated even if you’re in a crappy work situation.
As useful as LinkedIn can be, it can be less helpful when you’re shooting yourself in the foot because your profile is either incomplete or an absolute mess. Look, I’m not saying you need to have everything you’ve ever done on there, but fill it out appropriately and keep things updated as best you can just in case a recruiter’s on the hunt to poach you away from your current gig.
Since I think it’s important AF to utilize LinkedIn and help you create a personal brand, so to speak, I thought it’d be interesting to see what some experts say are the best ways to keep things 100 on there. So I headed to Forbes and saw that a contributing writer, Zack Friedman, had a few key tips on doing just that.
Here are five of the biggest mistakes that everyone needs to stop doing on LinkedIn, according to his advice.
Your LinkedIn Photo
C’mon, fellas, this is the first thing anyone looks at, so make sure it’s up-to-date, clear and looks (somewhat) professional. It’s cool to be biz casual, but don’t be wearing a hat and holding a beer in it, you should know better than that.
Your LinkedIn Job Title
Friedman suggests being more detailed in your LinkedIn job title, saying that vague words like “entrepreneurial leader” or “results-oriented finance professional” aren’t exactly doing you many favors. Either stick with your current job description, or, if you’re actively searching for a new role because you’re unemployed, put your job title as “looking for editorial management jobs” to help grab the attention of recruiters.
Your LinkedIn Bio
Now’s the time to talk about yourself and your accomplishments. Your LinkedIn bio should show your value to a company, as well as give a small hint of what you’re like to work with. Words like “adaptable” and “entrepreneurial” are good, but make sure you have support to back up that you really live by them.
Your LinkedIn Job Descriptions
Make sure your job descriptions are all in the industry that you want to be in. For instance, don’t add Panera Bread on there, sandwiched between marketing and advertising gigs. We know you want to be honest, but you want your best foot to be forward, not have to explain why there are five jobs listed in the past 30 months.
Your LinkedIn Network
Job networking is one of the most important elements of getting ahead in your career, whether you’re trying to find a new job or not. That’s why you should always focus on quality relationships on LinkedIn, cultivating those by messaging people you look at as mentors. Asking questions or simply introducing yourself can go a long way in forming a relationship to help you in your career.
Now, all of those things might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of LinkedIn profiles that look like a finger-painting done by kindergartner, with no sense of organization or details. Don’t be that kind of guy, it looks bad, trust me.
One other thing you should consider adding to your LinkedIn profile? Activities and/or Organizations. You may think that employers only care about what you do between the hours of 9-6 during the week, but if you’re trying to stand out from the crowd for a new job, you want to make sure you represent yourself with hobbies that show other passions of yours.
Now go clean up that profile of yours and make getting that cush job a reality.