In this blog, I will describe some of the mistakes and pet-peeves of experienced LinkedIn users and how to gain the attention of your targeted audience.
First you must understand that a LinkedIn profile is like telling a short story of where you have been and where you are trying to go. If you can effectively do this by keeping the reader interested as they go along, then you will begin to receive the responses that you are looking for. In addition, you must take it upon yourself to accurately review other professional profiles in order to establish relationships.
It's hard work, but well worth the effort. Remember also, that you are not special! Stop proclaiming to be everything that you say you are on your professional profile and let others be the judge of your professional character.
1. If your profile is NOT 100% complete then you should NOT even be on Linkedin! If you do NOT have a profile picture then you should be DELETED. Stop hiding, it's Super Easy!
2. Some Linkedin users have too many recommendations on their profiles from people on Linkedin that they have never even met or worked with! People are NOT stupid, they can read right through those awful "copy and pasted" or computer generated recommendations. Stop discrediting yourself!
3. Most LinkedIn users advertise in groups way too much instead of engaging in the conversation, which brings the quality of the group discussions down. That's why you have a "Promotions" tab and a "Jobs" tab! Don't be annoying to your audience!
4. Some users copy and paste the keywords of their industry a 1,000 times in order to show up in the search results 500 times a day but never recognize how irritating their profile really is! I hate that... (Search Engine Optimizing, whatever... Your profile looks unprofessional and I'm tired of looking at your mug) Be tactful when utilizing search engine optimizing, make it pleasing to the readers eye by incorporating your keyword industry in to your profile. Just because you come up in the search more than the average person does not mean you will get the results that you are looking for.
5. Professionals are NOT taking advantage of group discussions which is probably the easiest thing to do if you are not a lazy person. Leverage the group discussions and see the many responses that you will receive!
6. People are NOT utilizing the "Answers" forum. I admit, I'm guilty as well. It is important to display your expertise to others. Being a great source of information and giving back to your online community is the best way to build effective relationships.
7. Linkedin users do NOT take full advantage of all the available applications that can be added to their profile such as Box.net. Adding the additional applications shows how technologically savvy and up to date that you are as an individual in regards to social media trends. (No longer available on Linkedin but still applicable)
8. Some users "pitch" before they formally introduce themselves to anyone. I hate this more than anything! NO, I will NOT buy your product or recommend it to anyone else in my network or groups! Allow people to get to know you first, rather if you say who you are character wise via profile summary or in a message. Be concerned with the needs of your targeted audience.
9. People do NOT take full advantage of the "skills" list on their profiles, I'm semi-guilty of this because I never edited the years that I have in experience. Try typing in your skills instead of selecting them randomly. This action makes the "Skills" section of your profile more organized and noticeable.
10. Some users do NOT add everyone that is applicable to their industry on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus or in the profile organizer (if you have an upgraded account). Make sure that you effectively branding yourself if you connect other social media sites to your LinkedIn. Ensure that your picture is the same or similar so that you may be recognized by a professional coming form another site. In addition, ensure that your information is 100% accurate from one site to another.
11. Some users do NOT respond to messages in a timely manner and if they do so, it is apparent that they have no sympathy for an overdue reply. Take responsibility for your actions! Do not be rude.
12. Some job searches only utilize LinkedIn strictly as a resume when you can do so much more to get yourself hired! Communicate with people in your industry by asking them questions about their job and the company that they work for. In doing so, it may spark an interest in you!
13. Some Linkedin users will send you the same message 3 or 4 times requesting a connection through email and never realize that they are already a first connection. I really hate that... Delete people who do not recognize you as a connection. People like this are a total waste of time and effort because they are just looking for a quick buck or some attention. If you are a true professional, depend upon the quality of your network, not the quantity!
14. LinkedIn users say that they are an open-networker or LION but say no to some invitations and block others from viewing all of their connections. Become a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) at your own risk! If someone declines you for sending a connection request, then it is a strike against you! Be careful with this. You do not want to put a ton of work in your profile and then soon discover that you have been deleted!