When it comes to the job search, Social media has become a pre-dominant tool in the job seeker’s tool box. This is because out of all the Social media sites, LinkedIn is undoubtedly the most popular, as it is primarily used for career development and can therefore be more classified as a Professional Network. LinkedIn is also extensively used by recruiters and hiring managers to find top talent, so you continually have an opportunity to showcase your skills, achievements and personality by effectively using this media.
In October of 2011, we published a blog post titled “How to Use Your Network When Job Hunting”, and LinkedIn took center stage. We also published “5 Common LinkedIn Mistakes” in May of 2013, but we wanted to highlight some additional issues we have seen. However, be advised that LinkedIn has different etiquette rules than Facebook or Twitter because the purpose of LinkedIn is to make professional connections rather than social ones. The most common LinkedIn mistakes we see people make include the following:
1.) Selfishness: When was the last time you selflessly endorsed someone on LinkedIn? Especially since you just worked with a great project manager or an incredible Study Coordinator – why haven’t you given them a recommendation on LinkedIn without requesting anything in return?
2.) Laziness: Have you fallen into the trap of only making connections when you need something? Your effectiveness will be compromised if you wait until you need a job and send mass invitations, you will then reek of desperation. You should be continually working on building and nurturing your network, as your professional colleagues want to help those who help themselves.
3.) Strategy: Do You Have One? When building a good network, it means hand-selecting people who can benefit you professionally (and you them). It certainly isn’t about the size of your network, but the quality of your connections. You should be taking advantage of developing your network through referrals, colleagues, and team members. Don’t forget to leverage your existing network by sending tailored invitations requests to 2nd or 3rd LinkedIn connections.
4.) Inappropriate Behavior: LinkedIn is not YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook. LinkedIn, as a Professional Network building platform, is used to connect people to potential hiring managers, employers, customers, or clientele. You need to remember that you are building your personal brand in every interaction and once you put something in writing, it is in stone. ALWAYS maintain your professionalism. Check your spelling, your grammar, and above all else, ALWAYS use your brain.
5.) Are you paying attention to the details? We see individuals consistently missing opportunities to build their brand on LinkedIn in two areas.
· First: Have you participated in LinkedIn Today? Are you overlooking discussions going on in your current network? A great way to connect to thought leaders and participating in ongoing discussions and sharing articles is to join their networks. This type of quality activity will drive traffic to your page and can bring hundreds of new connections!
· Second: How special do your future colleagues or hiring managers feel when they get the standard “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” invitation when you use the generic connection request?? Personalize your request, and make that prospective client or boss appreciate the value you bring to the table and therefore be incented to accept!