This post originally appeared on Niall Devitt’s blog, Niall is a regular contributor to Tweak Your Biz.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking and a social platform to manage your professional identity and brand. Are you making these silly mistakes that may damage your reputation and prevent you from taking advantage of the professional opportunities that exist on LinkedIn?
# 1. You still haven’t completed your LinkedIn profile
”Only 50.5% of people have a 100% completed LinkedIn profile“ LinkedIn.
The main reason that you should complete your LinkedIn Profile is to appear in the search results:
- LinkedIn’s internal search
- And Google
The Linkedin search algorithm displays results in order of:
- Profile completeness
- Connections in common
- Connections by degree
- Groups in common
LinkedIn ranks higher on Google than other profiles including other social media. If you are not appearing and getting found via Linkedin search, your profile remains dormant and creates a knock on problem when it comes to getting indexed and being found on Google.
Are you an ‘All-Star’?
There are 4 levels to attain 100% Profile completion or ‘All-Star’ status:
What does it take to become an ‘All-Star’?
The profile sections you need to complete to get to ‘All-Star’ status (100%) are:
- Your Industry and Location
- Current Position with description
- 2 Past Positions
- Your Education
- Your Skills (minimum of 3)
- A Photo (200 by 200)
- At least 50 Connections
# 2. You haven’t customised your LinkedIn profile’s URL
Custom public profile URLs are available on a first come, first served basis and significantly increase the
- When you create a LinkedIn profile, you are given an automatically generated URL for your profile including an eight digit number. You can customize this URL (edit your public profile from the Settings page) so that your public profile can include your name: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nialldevitt.
- Then use your Public Profile URL on the web to improve your ranking.
# 3. You send your LinkedIn connection requests without personalising them
LinkedIn is the largest professional networking opportunity there is and sending a connection request is the first (and perhaps only) opportunity you get to make an impression. The standard LinkedIn connection request reads likes this:
“I’d like to add you to my professional network.
– Niall Devitt”
What many people don’t realise is that it’s shouldn’t be used for an actual connection request. It is merely a templated starting point towards you writing the request.
Or putting it another way, sending the standard request without first personalising is the same as attending a real world networking event and:
- Approaching someone to network with and
- Forgetting to say hi and introduce yourself and
- Forgetting to find out their name or anything about them and
- Forgetting to give any reason for why you approached them and
- Expecting them to exchange business cards.
It would leave a pretty awful impression, don’t you think?
Most professionals would never dream of networking like this at an event, yet many do it every day on LinkedIn.
# 4. You spam your network
The above request came from someone in my network. Let me be clear, I am sure that this person meant no malice in sending out this request; in fact I’d say the person was entirely sincere in their objective to “put LinkedIn to the test”. The first comment “Hello to everyone I am connected with on linkedin” tells me that this person is using LinkedIn to send out a blast e-mail to his connections with the purpose of “seeking part – time employment”.
Now some people might compliment this person for the endeavour and they may even respond to the e-mail, but let’s investigate if this is in fact putting “LinkedIn to the test”?
- If I was looking for work, I would not send out the same introduction to each and every company without finding out what they do, where I can bring value and who I would need to talk to.
- It’s just common sense and I’m sure that this person would not do this if seeking employment using more traditional means. However because they are using LinkedIn, they apparently believe the same common sense rules no longer apply.
- The reality is of course they do and what LinkedIn allows you to do is to apply them very efficiently. Spamming people and companies we already know would not work with traditional job search, so it will work even worse on LinkedIn.
Take what you already know and use LinkedIn to drive efficiency of effort. That’s really how to “put LinkedIn to the test”!
# 5. You never update your network or you bombard them with updates
Your status message allows you to share professional updates with your network:
- Remember out of sight, out of mind. It’s important to update your connections regularly.
- Your network will appreciate information but not excessive updates. LinkedIn users can choose to mute connections so excessive updating runs the risk of having your updates turned off.
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