It has been well established that LinkedIn is the best social media network for entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals. However, you may not be capitalizing on everything LinkedIn has to offer. To make your LinkedIn experience as successful as possible, check out these dos and don’ts of the social network.
Do reevaluate your goals. Remember the most basic function of LinkedIn is to market a business or employee. Don’t get caught up in resume-building. Instead, focus on what you want to accomplish. Since keywords are how people will find you on LinkedIn, make sure you choose ones that have meaning in your industry (process-related, industry terms, or equipment, products or software).
Do utilize your keywords effectively. Use your most important keyword – mind you, we didn’t say most searched – in your headline. Then, go through the rest of your profile and replace vague descriptions of skills and experiences with keywords.
Do highlight only the relevant jobs you’ve had. The average person will change careers seven times before the age of 30. To avoid distracting your prospective employer from the skills and experiences that relate to your current goal, limit everything else. While you should list all your previous jobs in your work history, only expand on the relevant ones. For the non-relevant jobs, simply list your job title, company and a brief description of responsibilities.
Don’t use an inappropriate profile picture. A blurry, poor-quality photo taken with a camera phone probably doesn’t portray the professional image you are aiming for. Neither does a Photoshopped work of art. And how you expect people to take you seriously when you pose in a nightclub-worthy ensemble is beyond us!
Don’t link to a personal website. While it is important to show you have a personality behind all those keywords, linking to a personal website isn’t the way to do it. Feel free to share your make-money-online site or your how-to industry blog, but leave the link to your prize-winning horse off your profile (unless, of course, you are a horse trainer!).
Don’t forget to proofread. Spelling and grammatical errors will lead people to think you are lazy or ignorant – and neither quality is flattering for an employment candidate. We are all aware of how difficult it can be to catch errors in our own writing. However, that is no excuse. Hire a professional copy editor to take a look at your profile.
Whether you are just getting started or are a LinkedIn veteran, take a critical look at what you are sharing in your profile. Use the social network to your advantage by sharing your professional, capable self.
Blogger Richard Adams works in internet marketing, providing marketing information to businesses and individuals.