We all know LinkedIn is become socially connected professional network, in past few months they has made numerous changes to become more than a job resource. The changes have made it a viable tool for people to connect, discuss, get answers to questions as well as connect with people that they just may be working with in the future. The future of social media marketing is bright and the tools we use today are building blocks for what is yet to come. Creating profiles that are complete and honest are just the beginning. Many of these have been written time and time again but as I look to connect with new people, I still see the same mistakes being made. I have listed some of the common mistakes which can be avoided.
1. Default URL. Increase your personal branding so easily by changing the default to a personal URL. Click Edit Public Profile Settings in the top right and then edit your Public Profile URL to your name. As a job seeker this is a must.
2. My Website/My Company. Keeping the default is asking people to look above to see who your current employer is and then go back and click on it. It is a simple change: On your profile, click websites, then at the drop down, click “Other” and then type in the name and descriptive terms
3. Private Profile. As social media is evolving with Google’s live search, Bing/Twitter as well as Google’s Social Search what was private is not anymore. Go public so people can find you as a job seeker.
4. Joining Groups. The maximum amount of groups you can join is 50. While that seems like a lot, how many people are at the max? There is so much information contained in groups – news, discussions, slide shares – that failing to join groups is basically like missing out on an opportunity to connect. 50 is not always the easiest to keep up with especially when you’re job hunting but the information shared in the groups is very valuable.
5. Lack of Participation in Discussions. Social media is about connecting and building relationships – talking to people. Taking part in discussions gets you noticed as a viable job candidate well as keeps the conversation going and the sharing of information, viewpoints and knowledge.
6. Not Asking/Answering Questions. Asking questions and getting feedback from others is not only free, it many times does give you answers that you were seeking. Answering questions allows you to share what you know and build a reputation within your industry as a job hunter.
7. Linking Every Tweet. Pushing every tweet to your LinkedIn status is noise. I am a very big fan of Twitter, on twitter. Having people that I am connected with on LinkedIn to see every tweet is not the proper forum. As someone who wants to start their career sure you want to get your name out, and selected tweets of articles that are good reads are worth sharing, but every tweet, no.
8. Lack of Company Page. As a business owner, a company page is another way to get found. Create a company page so that people know you are there. There had been some hesitations as each employee that adds you as an employer is linked to you and once they leave, they can speak about the company in a manner that is not consistent with company policy shall we say. Months ago this was a factor but with the social media tools available there is no excuse for not having a company page. Many job hunters find work or important connections through these company pages.
9. Incomplete Profile. Lack of a photo (or updated photo), complete summary and custom title. President does not cut it anymore. People do not search for president, CEO, etc. Your summary is your chance to let people know what you do and how you can help them. When you are looking for work, your resume might not do you justice – so make sure you brand yourself as a job seeker in your profile.
10. Connecting and Then Selling. It is not a forum for a sales pitch. Similar to auto dm’s in Twitter. People who connect with you have to agree and they will look to find out what you do. Sending a thanks for connecting with a sales pitch is asking to be ignored. Show interest, be genuine; networking for a job is a two-way street.
11. Not Updating Status. Every tweet is overkill but not updating your status is showing people that you are not active. Inactivity is showing that you are an infrequent visitor. Be active. Let people know what you are involved in, reading, etc. This is important because as a job candidate, companies will be impressed that you’re up to speed on industry trends and news.
12. Failing to Comment on Comments. This is similar to comments on our blog. If someone comments, then respond to them. You are asking them to read, they are responding, take time to acknowledge their efforts.
13. Not Giving or Asking for Recommendations. Giving is easier than asking. I do not like to ask for them as I think that if I give one then that is sort of a nod back to that person to maybe give one back. Bad strategy … probably but the importance is to give and then ask. As you go and look at your LinkedIn profile, look for ways to improve. We are all on limited time and to check this profile, that one, and the newest one that comes out is not easy. Staying involved with certain platforms that are making changes is a sign for what is to come. Agree? What have you done to enhance your profile and stand out as a job applicant?
One Last Thought On more than one occasion, students have been offered full time positions upon graduation with the very companies with whom they did their internship and co-op work. So, think about these jobs as terrific opportunities to get your foot in the door for something more permanent.