LinkedIn: Common Mistakes, Including My Own

LinkedIn is really great about equipping its users with great tools for success and pointing them in the right direction, but somewhere along the way we all make a couple of mistakes. Upon further investigation of what recruiters are looking for on a LinkedIn profile, I found out I was making a few mistakes of my own. I also took a sample of 25 LinkedIn users that are juniors and seniors at my university. I evaluated trends of what my peers are doing right and what they are doing wrong according what my research found.

  1. Not Making Regular Updates
  • Many students, including myself, are not updating our LinkedIn profiles with current experiences and skills. Because LinkedIn is an endless stream of a resume, we should take advantage of that. Updating regularly also keeps the user in the newsfeed of connections.

2.  Neglecting the Recommendation Feature

  • LinkedIn allows professionals to write letters of recommendation that live and breathe on your profile. That is awesome! For every job or internship that you have had there should be a recommendation to accompany it. The way the recommendation feature works is you just send a request to the user that you would like to write it.

3. Inactivity

  • I was very guilty of this common mistake. LinkedIn provides its users with the opportunity to post and share industry related topics that your connections will see. Recruiters agree that it is impressive to see a new grad/college student have professional interactions online.
  • Another way users are inactive is by taking days or even weeks to accept connection requests. Just like Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn is a social media that should be checked daily.

4. Losing Contact with Connections

  • I don’t know about you, but in college I met many important professionals that I would love to work for. I always collected their business card and then promptly added them to my LinkedIn network. When I always messed it up was with the follow through. I might have a connection at Google, but are they really a connection if I haven’t spoken to them in over a year? No, because they will not remember me. LinkedIn has added this nifty tool under the ‘contact list’ section. It is called           ‘last contacted.’ This feature tells you the last time you interacted with a connection and can even remind you to do so.

5. Lack of Bio

  • Out of the 25 college student LinkedIn accounts I reviewed, only 3 of them included personal bios. Though most students thoroughly and articulately explained their experiences, almost none of them had described themselves. It is important to include a little bit about who you are as a professional. This should be cohesive with your online brand on other platforms.
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