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.
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
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
or call: 913-314-4460