LinkedIn: Participate, Avoid These Mistakes
Overland Park, KS
03/23/2017 07:25 AM

A well-developed and fully optimized profile on LinkedIn is now considered to be an essential element of a sound career management strategy. However, having a well developed profile alone does not guarantee your success on the platform. You have to participate in the right way and then, do so in a strategic manner.


This means you have to be thoughtfully “engaged” with your professional connections on a consistent and understandably, frequent basis.  You can achieve this goal in as little as 10-15 minutes a day. However, you want to avoid these mistakes as you participate on LinkedIn:


=         Unprofessional Photo: Your profile may be well developed and you may have communicated a clear professional brand but if you have a poor quality photo you have essentially “negated” the effectiveness of your profile. This means you need to have a professional quality photo for your profile. While “selfies” are highly trendy and fun, they do not belong on LinkedIn. You also want to avoid “cropped photos” taken in social situations with what may be inappropriate attire, poor resolution, insufficient lighting and a distracted background. Your photo should clearly reinforce your professional brand. Please review the article available via my LinkedIn profile entitled Your Photo On LinkedIn Is Your Brand for detailed profile photo guidance.


=         Undefined Professional Brand: A mere listing of your work history does not convey a clear brand message. Rather, you achieve this goal via a carefully crafted branded headline, robust summary section and “accomplishment statements” posted by positions held in the Experience section of your LinkedIn profile. The beauty of LinkedIn is that you get to control your own “brand messages” or, lack there of. Generally, your brand identification is an amalgamation of everything you are both professionally and personally. What is your brand? What do you want your brand to be? A professional career coach and strategist can help you to clearly craft and communicate your brand and optimize your profile. Both of these initiatives are critical to your long term career success.


=         Poor “Update” Choices: Participation in LinkedIn via posting of “updates” is important to further communication and reinforcement of your brand messages. This means that you are evaluated by your connections and other LinkedIn members based on everything you post. LinkedIn is not Facebook or Twitter and your update content needs to reflect this difference. While presently common on LinkedIn, posting quotes from famous people does not reinforce your brand. This reinforces their brand versus yours. Rather, tell us how you feel on an important topic. This is far more compelling and interesting to your connections. After all, your connections made the connection with you in order to establish a professional relationship with you. Posting of commonly available quotes from others also suggests professional laziness on your part. Again, this is not the brand message you want to communicate to your connections. Do not post “word games” or “math puzzles” or other inappropriate content on LinkedIn. Do post links to articles, publications and videos that may be professionally helpful to the careers of your connections. Doing so will also reinforce your professional brand.


=         Lack of Engagement: The mere posting of updates on LinkedIn is not sufficient for successful engagement with your connections. You need to engage with your connections with encouragement, congratulatory messages regarding their achievements and being helpful to them by “adding value” to their professional lives otherwise your updates on LinkedIn may appear to be “all about you” versus “all about them.” By being helpful and friendly to your connections you will enhance both your professional reputation and your career brand. If you wish to secure business via LinkedIn you need to be engaged and you need to add value. Via your effective participation on LinkedIn, you may also make new friends, create productive professional relationships and be approached for new career opportunities. Sincere and meaningful engagement with your connections is paramount to this effort.


Bob Lovely is a former corporate executive and officer, an accomplished “master level” certified executive and career coach and Chief Career Strategist with Career Strategy Solutions. Inquiries regarding consultation, services, fees or referrals should be directed to: or call: 913-314-4460

Bob Lovely
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