Let’s face it, as time progresses the relevance of social networking mediums in the workplace increases. As more companies turn to these networks for various reasons – from advertising to recruiting – the need for understanding the best practices of each site cannot be emphasized enough. Moreover, as the importance of these social networking sites grow, so does the confusion surrounding their ‘proper’ use by job seekers and employers alike. I’m sure we’ve all at some point listened to the constant ramblings of social media experts about what to post on our Facebook and Twitter profiles, what pictures, posts, and tw are frowned upon, and how to better market ourselves. Well folks, while I am not a social media ‘expert’ per say, I would like to ramble about a recent article I read outlining some common mistakes that most persons, including myself, make on LinkedIn.
1. Don’t wait until you need a job! – A real perceptive person can recognize when a somewhat dormant account suddenly becomes active. The key here is to keep in constant contact with your connections instead of just reaching out to them when you need assistance, and continually seek out and add new connections.
2. Your Profile is Incomplete. – Have you noticed the marker on your profile which tells you in percentage format the completeness of your profile? If not, then take this time to go check…I’ll wait. Plain and simple take the time to get to 100% – it can make a difference! Plus, as you fully complete your profile be sure to add keywords relevant to your interests/skills and which can make your profile stand out in searches.
3. What groups do you belong to? – There are groups too numerous to mention on LinkedIn and not being a member of at least one is unacceptable. Until you find the right groups to suit your interests at least join your alumni groups. The goal is to be a part of groups that share your interests and will encourage you to participate in the discussions – aim for quality not quantity.
4. “Sharing is Caring” – Most individuals on LinkedIn do not share any valuable content with their connections or groups. If you’re not sure what to share, consider recent professional articles you’ve read or a well received blog post you’ve written. For instance, you may just see this blog posted to my LinkedIn profile soon).
5. Do you use LinkedIn Answers? – The ‘More’ tab on your LinkedIn page is there for a reason. As I only recently found out it can lead to the Question/Answer page – which, based on my recent usage, is very useful. In addition to helping you find the solution to a troublesome problem, this page can afford you the opportunity to display your expertise on a particular topic or subject.
In case you’re still on the fence about the relevance of LinkedIn and other networking sites in providing career opportunities, consider these facts from a 2012 Social Recruiting Survey, conducted by Jobvite:
- 92% of recruiters use or plan to use social media to reach candidates
- 89% of recruiters have made a hire through LinkedIn
- 86% of recruiters are likely to look at the social profiles of candidates
Be sure to share with us any of the mistakes you’ve made on LinkedIn and plan to change. Also, for some other common mistakes and their solutions, check out the full Inc.com article below.