Five things you should never do on LinkedIn

Posted on: April 15th, 2011

If you want to maximise your presence on LinkedIn, make sure you never do these five things:

1. Cut and paste your CV into your profile

Your profile should really sell you, so you need to pack it full of compelling information about yourself. You can find out how to do this on a previous post I wrote called: 10 ways to beef up your LinkedIn profile. Simply listing out your current and previous roles from your CV won’t cut the mustard.

2. Remain faceless with a silhouette

People want to see the real you – not be faced with a shadowy image of a blank head. Your photo should be a professional business shot that conveys ‘friendly and approachable’. It’s not the place to put your Facebook image of you on holiday.

3. Send an invitation without personalising it

If I receive an invitation to connect from a complete stranger who claims to be a ‘friend’ that says: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” do you think I’ll accept? Never. That’s why I always write a personalised note when I send out invitations. And, if I want to connect with someone I don’t know, I always explain WHY I want to connect with them.

It could be as simple as: “I’m fairly new to LinkedIn and I see we’re both members of the XYZ group. I’m looking to expand my network of contacts and I’m particularly interested in connecting with (XYZ people) beacause (explain why).” Then say a brief bit about what you do and the kind of people you help, so they can see that you’d be a valuable member to have in their own network.

4. Complete your profile but never update it

I’m constantly changing / adding to my profile. I might add a new application, or upload a new sample of my work, or make tweaks to my summary. Even if your profile is 100% complete, there are always things you can do to improve it, enrich it  and make it more compelling.

I also update the status box two or three times a week, telling my connections what I’m up to. This does three things: my network see my name every time they read their LinkedIn updates; they see the different types of writing project I’m currently involved with; and they see the kind of clients I’m writing for.

5. Forget to add key words

People use LinkedIn to find people. Make sure your job title and your summary contain key words so that people can find your when they do a search. For example, my job title is a series of key words for anyone looking for a copywriter or webwriter.

★ Strategic Marketing Copywriter ★ Tactical SEO Webwriter ★ Wordsmith ★

If your location is important, add this. Eg: Reflexologist, Brighton

How have you enriched your profile on LinkedIn?

Related posts:

How to link your WordPress blog to your LinkedIn profile

Do you know about these 11 things you can do on LinkedIn?

4 Responses to “Five things you should never do on LinkedIn”

  1. Douglas Holland
    April 15th, 2011

    Whilst I haven’t committed ‘sin’ number 1, I am a despicable failure having committed the remaining 4, in some cases multiple times. I keep promising to mend my ways on Linkedin (the Auto Nag is now two years old), but…

    Maybe this post will force me to mend my ways, but I suspect it will require more than sensible advice (Hangs Head in shame).

  2. Carole
    April 15th, 2011

    LOL – I always enjoy reading your comments, Douglas. :)

    About two years ago, I made it a TASK to beef up my profile. Then, about a year back, I went on a social networking course that had two modules devoted to LinkedIn so I picked up a lot of tips from that.

    They regularly bring out new applications, so it’s quite fun playing around with them. I did a French translation of my profile a few weeks back (out of curiosity) but then discovered there is no way to delete it. Ho hum.

  3. Jon Buscall
    April 15th, 2011

    Ouch, now I feel super guilty. I think I’m not good at 3, 4, and 5. I don’t know why: I just haven’t got the value of LinkedIn yet.

    Twitter seems to work better for generating leads, as does my podcast/blog. Admittedly I haven’t invested time and energy in making the most out of LinkedIn.

    Do you find more value in LinkedIn in terms of lead generation compared to, say, Twitter or your blog?

  4. Carole
    April 15th, 2011

    Hi Jon

    I think it’s a case of where you put in most time and energy, you reap the rewards. And also what works best for your particular industry. So I find LinkedIn works for me. However, it’s also important to have a presence on other social media platforms like Twitter and also to have a blog.

    I have a Facebook business page but don’t do much with it, so not surprisingly that does nothing for me. A bit like a gym membership: if you join in January and go once, you can’t expect to be super fit.

    Have a fun weekend…

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