LinkedIn is more than just your CV or resume in a digital format. How you use it can set you apart from your peers and chances are, your interviewer and potential employer will look you up on LinkedIn to learn as much as they can about you and your career history.
As of January 2017, LinkedIn – a social network built for business professionals in 2003 – has approximately over 400 million users, with two new members joining the community every second. However, just signing up for a LinkedIn account isn’t enough.
Like how a brand manager may spend an inordinate amount of time to maintain his company’s Facebook Page to ensure his brand remains top-of-mind, you have the responsibility to upkeep your personal brand by building up your LinkedIn profile with recommendations, portfolio, and new connections.
Want to know if you are using this well of career and business opportunities correctly?
See if you are guilty of committing any of the five LinkedIn crimes below:
1. Using the wrong picture for your profile
Unlike on Facebook where you can express your personality with a party photograph, your profile picture on LinkedIn is to help recruiters and interviewers identify you. Ideally, it should be cropped at around chest-level so your face can be seen clearly.
FACT: A profile picture makes your profile 11x more likely to be viewed.
2. Not updating your status
Don’t leave your LinkedIn Profile to wilt in the background. Whether it’s sharing industry-related news or a particularly inspiring career story, you need to put something up every few days to keep your profile fresh.
ACTION: Do make a connection or share a story once every day and comment on others’ posts once a week.
3. A sudden influx of recommendations
One of the biggest cardinal sins of using LinkedIn is not having any recommendations. However, recruiters can also tell if you are on the lookout for a new job if you post up a whole lot of them suddenly. Keep things interesting by asking one client or an ex-manager to give you a recommendation every month.
REMEMBER: Be sure to return the favour by giving a recommendation in return.
Don’t sugarcoat or lie about your education and achievements. As with everything visible to the general public, your lies may come back to bite you. Being honest also extends to your profile picture. A glamour shot that shows a much younger or more sophisticated you may get more views but imagine what would happen if a recruiter requests to meet in person.
WRITE: Your headline should be eye-catching and contain keywords you want to be found for.
5. Hustling new connections for jobs
Yes, LinkedIn may be a great resource for job leads but adding people with the intention of asking them to give you a job in their companies will make you look manipulative. Do this instead: in your “Summary”, write about the type of organisations you wish to work in, the corporate cultures you are drawn to, and remember to add keywords that reflect your skills set and experience too.
GET PERSONAL: Add a personalised message to the person you wish to connect with.