Are you new to LinkedIn?
As a first-time user, you may not realize how important LinkedIn can be.
Through LinkedIn, you can build professional relationships with those in your industry and increase your opportunities for career growth.
However, to find success on LinkedIn, there are some common mistakes you will need to avoid.
Below, I will show you what the common LinkedIn mistakes first-time users often make and how you can fix them.
Not Using the Right Profile Picture
Your LinkedIn picture is often the first thing prospective connections and employers see.
Your picture is often what these connections are basing their first impression on.
Are you making the right impression?
Using an unprofessional photo or no photo at all could be costing your opportunities.
How to fix the LinkedIn profile pic
Choose a photo that is professional and reflects the image you want to portray.
Avoid pictures with inappropriate or unprofessional behaviors, pictures that are low-quality or hard to see, or pictures that involve other people.
For a truly professional feel, consider having a headshot taken for your LinkedIn profile picture.
Not Customizing Your Headline
Do you know what your headline says?
If you have never customized your LinkedIn Headline, the default will be your current job title and company.
Your headline is one of the first things people seek when you send a connection request.
If you are using the default, you are telling potential connections nothing about who you are and what you are looking for.
How to fix the LinkedIn headline
Use your headline to tell who you are, what you do and what you offer.
If you are looking for a job, try the following:
Entry Level | Marketing Specialist | Highly-Skilled Copywriter
Focus on using strategic keywords and expanding on your job title and abilities to create a super LinkedIn headline.
Not Completing Your Profile
Your LinkedIn profile is more than just your resume.
It’s a chance to expand on your experience and show your strengths.
However, unless your profile is complete, you could be selling yourself short.
Too often, first-time LinkedIn users stop after putting in where they went to school and what jobs they have held.
If you haven’t written your LinkedIn summary or included details of your work history, you aren’t making your profile stand out from the crowd.
How to complete your LinkedIn profile
Write a targeted LinkedIn summary that gives some background into who you are, what you’ve done, and what you bring to the table.
Add in details about what you did at your previous positions, mirroring the descriptions on your resume. Make sure you are using action verbs and add in quantifiable results if you can.
Ask your close connections to write a recommendation for you, and give recommendations to your connections.
Include any certifications you’ve earned.
Not Using a Customized URL
Whenever you sign up for LinkedIn, you are automatically assigned a URL.
Your default URL usually looks something like this:
While it may not seem like a problem at first, the default URL is difficult to read and would be hard to share on your resume or email signature.
The benefit of a customized LinkedIn URL is that they are easy to share across different channels and appear higher on Google searches.
How to customize your LinkedIn URL
When looking at your LinkedIn profile, choose “Edit Public Profile and URL”.
Customize your LinkedIn URL to reflect who you are. Try using your first and last name as your URL.
If you have a common last name (Jones, Smith, etc.), be prepared to be creative. Try including your middle initial to make it unique to you.
Not Using Personalized Connection Invites
Part of being on LinkedIn is connecting with other professionals in and around your industry.
You build your network with connections to colleagues, alumni, and other professionals.
To connect, you send invitations out.
However, if you are just clicking on “Connect” and not including a personalized message, you are making a mistake!
Sending generic requests without a message doesn’t tell your prospective connection anything about who you are and how you know them.
Unless the connection is a close friend, it may be hard for them to know who you are or what connection they have to you.
How to personalize your LinkedIn invites
When sending a connection request, choose the option of adding a note.
Include a short message about how or where you know them from and why you would like to connect.
If you have mutual connections, you could mention them in this message.