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Career Corner: The 6 Biggest Mistakes You’re Making on LinkedIn

Update your professional networking LinkedIn profile before applying to jobs. –Courtesy photo

By Angela Copeland

You’ve decided you want to get a job. The first thing you may want to do is update your LinkedIn profile. But, this is the problem. You’re doing a few things wrong. Those things are going to slow down your search, and you don’t even know it:

  • You have no photo.  You’ve got to get a photo. It’s no longer okay to opt-out of having a photo on LinkedIn. It helps people to know you’re a real person. And, if there’s more than one person with your name, it helps them to find you.
  • Your URL is a mess. You may have not thought about this, but check out the URL on your LinkedIn page. It will begin with www.linkedin.com/in/. Then, it will have something after the slash. If you haven’t customized your LinkedIn URL, it will be long and will contain many numbers at the end. Take a few minutes to create a custom URL. You can do this by clicking the link that says, Edit public profile and URL. When you pick your new URL, be sure that it is simple, and doesn’t contain a reference to your birth year or graduation year. You don’t want employers to guess your age from the start.
  • Your profile isn’t up to date. I know, you’ve been busy. 2018 was a crazy year for everyone. This is the time to update your profile. Add in your current and previous work. Be sure to include your education.
  • You don’t have enough connections. I know that LinkedIn isn’t the same thing as Facebook. But, to use it effectively, you need to connect to others. Connect to colleagues, classmates, and professional friends. Your goal should be a minimum of 500 LinkedIn connections. The more first degree connections you have, the more second and third degree connections you’ll have. And, it will be easier to find people at the new company you’re interested in.
  • You don’t have enough recommendations. The recommendations on your LinkedIn profile can be incredibly powerful. Your former boss and coworkers can leave you positive feedback – for everyone to see. It shows that you’re someone they would hire again. If you’ve been laid off in the past, the recommendations section can show a future employer that you were a valued employee. Don’t overlook this section. It can add a tremendous amount of value to your resume.
  • You aren’t participating. LinkedIn isn’t just a place to upload your resume. It’s a place to connect with others. It’s a place to join and participate in groups. It’s a great place to join into professional discussions. Don’t take a backseat when it comes to your participation on LinkedIn. This is the time to get involved.

LinkedIn is a critical piece of the 2019 job search. Before you start, review your profile. Updating your profile will help you to start your 2019 job search off strong.

Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

January 25, 2019

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Angela Copeland


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