LinkedIn – with 476 million (47.6 crore) users, it is the largest Professional social network that exists.
LinkedIn or ‘The Professional Social Network’ as some may call it. There were many other professional social networks that came and went offline/failed. After the recent Microsoft takeover, LinkedIn got pretty serious when it comes to introducing new and important/much needed features. All this just to grow and nurture your professional network.
I started on LinkedIn in the summers of 2011 and since then have grown to nearly 5k connections. I along with other old users have seen many changes being introduced by LinkedIn just to make our life easier. Right from giving control to what a user wants to see on their news feed to introducing making the publishing platform open to all. But even then, people don’t know how to make the right use of LinkedIn for their professional growth and benefit (Yes, being selfish).
I know many articles about the Do’s and Don’ts but what I am trying to share below is a list of some silly mistakes that we make on LinkedIn which make us look dumb:
Here are 7 silly mistakes many of us often make on LinkedIn:
Shouting out loud:
If you don’t know, by default, any changes you make in your LinkedIn profile are sent out to your connection as an update. These get irritating, especially when the changes are very minor (For Example: correcting the spelling of your university, etc).
How to fix it: These changes are ‘ON’ by default. You can turn them off here: Account Settings > Profile > Turn on/off your activity broadcasts.
The wrong company:
While updating our new employer details on LinkedIn, we sometime, in hurry, update the wrong employer. Now I don’t mean the wrong name of the employer, but the wrong company name from the drop-down when you type your company name. This does not send out a good impression.
How to fix it: When adding a new employer, type your company name slowly – carefully go through the list that gets populated and then select the correct company. Usually the correct company name would be the one with a logo.
I understand that LinkedIn has given a shortcut, to wish people on their birthdays and work anniversaries. But we tend to take too much advantage of it. We have become so used to these shortcuts that we have forgotten the human side of wishing someone with a personalized message. I would be so happy so receive a personalized Birthday or Work Anniversary message from someone in the pool of automated messages.
How to fix it: Use your keyboard, address the person and write a nice personalized message.
I don’t understand why people tend to leave their LinkedIn profiles incomplete. Most of the times, these are the same people who put all their personal details on their Facebook profile and make them public. I would suggest opening a LinkedIn profile only when you are ready. An ‘All-Star’ (All-Star = Completely Updated Profile) rated profile will show up more often in search results. That’s not all, if your LinkedIn profile is updated, it can even show on the first page of Google Search results.
How to fix it: Complete your profile and add as much authentic information as possible. Don’t procrastinate, you might lost out on a good opportunity just because your profile didn’t come up in the search results. Don’t forget to add keywords related to your profile.
Being a Spy:
Why would someone even hide/partially hide yourself on LinkedIn when you visit their profile? Are you a spy or something? I hate seeing ‘Someone at XYZ Company’ viewed your profile. As long as you are not here to do spying/stalking go public. Let the other person also see who viewed their profile. You might never know what opportunity awaits you.
How to fix it: Go public. You can change the settings here: Settings > Privacy > Profile Viewing Option > Change this to ‘Your name and headline’. After changing this setting, if I visit your profile, my name and profile will show up in your ‘Who your viewers are’.
There are people who will send you a message promoting their company as soon as you accept their connection request. This is very unprofessional as per my understanding.
How to fix it: Nurture your relationship. Don’t be so selfish. I would rather send my new connection a message asking about what they do and telling a little about myself. Be curious to know about them and make them feel special.
Not helping others:
On LinkedIn, a lot of times people will approach you seeking help in finding a job for them. Being an HR professional, I understand that you won’t be able to help each one of them. But you should at-least respond to their messages. I have seen people who get irritated with such messages and remove such connections out of sheer frustration
How to fix it: I would suggest helping people wherever possible. Remember, someday, you will need help in finding a suitable position too.
Hope these tips will help you all in improving your reputation online. Feel free to share your tips and tricks, if any.
Happy Networking !!