Today, LinkedIn is your elevator pitch. It is your virtual CV. It can help to sell you, or not. There are few interviewers who won’t take a sneaky link at your profile before an interview, so you need to make it count.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who are getting it wrong, and if job hunting could be reducing their chances. So if you are looking for new opportunities, here are my top five mistakes to avoid on LinkedIn.
- Dumb photos. In the last couple of days alone I have seen holiday snaps, pictures with animals / babies in, pictures more akin to a dating site, and bizarrely, a bus. Personal brand people! Have a professional photo. And the only thing worse that the shoddy photo is no photo at all.
- Personal updates. ‘I am pleased to announce the arrival of baby Smith’ should stay on Facebook. This is not the place for fun updates. This is about your career, not your entire personal life. If you wouldn’t put it on your old school CV, don’t post it on LinkedIn.
- Too much self-promotion. You know who you are. Yes of course put your stuff out there, its great for your personal brand. But share other people’s stuff too. The whole vanity thing is a little wearing.
- Having an incomplete profile. This is your opportunity to sell yourself, your skills, your experience. Include a concise summary of your key attributes. Describe what you are going to bring to the party. Include links to other online work or activities. If it would be on your old school CV, but it on LinkedIn too.
- Doing nothing at all. Even if your profile rocks, you need to show some activity on it. Share interesting and relevant stuff, like, comment, participate in a group discussion. Get involved.
I check out the profile of everyone I interview before they arrive and people will check you out too; don’t waste your first opportunity to make an impression.