LinkedIn is a fantastic online business networking platform for professionals. And for job seekers, it’s a brilliant place to showcase yourself and your personal brand. But, if you’re doing the following, you’re NOT doing “Brand You” any favours:
Remember, LinkedIn is a professional platform, so a photo of you downing a beer at a pub, or in your bikini, should be reserved for other social platforms like Facebook. Some people don’t have photos at all. It makes me think they have something to hide and it’s just a little bit creepy (along with those to choose to be anonymous)… We live in a visual world and people want to see who you are and what you look like.
All your connections can view your profile and if you lie, you will be found out. It will be very embarrassing too. Look what happened to former Yahoo CEO, Scott Thompson.
It makes them think you couldn’t be bothered to write a personalised message. Why would they bother connecting with you? Give them a good reason, especially if they don’t know you. Note: currently on smartphones, the iPad app, and some pages on the LinkedIn website eg. “People you may know” – LinkedIn sends off the invite without giving you the opportunity to customise the message. I always feel a little embarrassed when this happens. LinkedIn needs to fix this, but in the meantime, avoid these when sending requests.
It’s a major pet peeve for many professionals on LinkedIn and they won’t want to connect with you.
Many people don’t even know you can do this in the “Contact Details” section of your profile. You can include up to 3 links under the “Websites” heading. So for example, I’ve included Firebrand’s website, Aquent’s website and Vitamin T’s website – all brands that I market. There’s another section to include your Twitter address. Again, you can include up to 3 links here (and name them). I’ve included my own, plus others I manage.
LinkedIn has a “wizard” which guides you through completing your profile and tells you when it is 100% complete. Most important is your Summary, your Experience, your Skills & Endorsements, and your Headline. Make sure that they are “keyword rich”. Did you know that all these sections, and more, are searchable? So if you want to be found, make the effort to optimise your profile. You can also choose the order in which they are displayed.
Customise your message for LinkedIn. Many people post the same message on multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ instead of customising their message. It irritates people when they see @Twitter handles and #Hashtags on LinkedIn status updates. Take an extra couple of minutes to customise and you’ll reap the benefits.
You will be flagged a spammer and won’t be able to post to groups again. A well managed LinkedIn group is tightly monitored and most will only allow discussions, questions, and commentary. Many will allow you to link to other people’s blog posts, but not your own. A bit strange if you ask me. Even if your post is totally relevant to the discussion; it is perceived as self-promotion.
Don’t use your LinkedIn as your email marketing platform and spam people with news and events about your company. Most won’t be interested and will remove you as a connection.
It’s awkward for them and you won’t get a recommendation that you’ll want to publish anyway. Remember, it’s not about the quantity of the recommendations, it’s about the quality of them. And for the record, tit for tat, reciprocal recommendations look dodgy.
You can read a post here that I wrote specifically about this. Not only does it devalue the whole LinkedIn endorsements system, but you end up looking like an idiot because the person on the receiving end is shaking their head and thinking “why on earth would someone I haven’t dealt with endorse me?”.
Is there anything I should have added to this list? Please add your thoughts to the comments below.
An older version of this post was published on jeffbullas.com
Award-winning Australian recruitment agency, Firebrand Talent, ignites the careers of digital, marketing, creative, communications, advertising, & media talent. If you are looking for your next career move, check out the jobs we currently have on in Sydney & Melbourne.Back