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The Mistakes On LinkedIn You Never Want to Make
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What's great about LinkedIn is that it's like the Facebook of online job boards. It's the networking social network that focuses on what people have done, are doing, and hope to do in their professional lives--nothing else (ideally, at least). Everyone has a professional goal on LinkedIn that they want to accomplish and this type of online networking makes it easier and quicker to do.

If you think that as long as you have one social media profile that your job establishing an online presence is complete, then you're a long way from a job offer. Each social network is designed with a different purpose in mind.

But having a social presence is only as effective as the amount of engagement. Are you actively using LinkedIn, or do you just check it from time to time when you've made a new request? Do you use it to make new connections or simply have it for the sake of having one?

LinkedIn has a direct influence on your career prospects because it's where your professional background is most reflected. Making mistakes on your profile can be seen by more eyes than you think, eyes that may have belonged to someone who could have benefited your career.

Whether you're looking for a job, wanting a better one or simply trying to get the most out of your current one, the following mistakes are ones you should be extra careful to avoid making:

Omitting a picture.
This is basic Online Profile 101. Profiles without a picture can't be taken seriously. An incomplete profile doesn't look legitimate and potential employers aren't going to take a chance on someone who seems like they're hiding something. Without being able to see who you are, they're going to think something is wrong and who could blame them? Plus, if you give out your profile link to someone you met in person, having your picture on your profile will make it easier to remember you.

The wrong type of picture.
Your LinkedIn picture is meant to identify you to the outside world. Some people might take it as an opportunity to show off their pets or family but that's what Facebook is for. Your profile picture should show your face and nothing else. Also, don't be self-conscious of your age. Putting up a picture that doesn't accurately represent who you are in the present day will do more to harm your chances of getting a job than an age-revealing picture. A hiring manager that calls someone in for an interview and doesn't get what they expected isn't going to be pleased. So remember, no false advertising!

Adjust your privacy settings.
Most if not all social media networks put these there for a reason. It's very important to make sure that your online activity on professional networking site is done discreetly. If you're currently employed but are actively seeking new employment via LinkedIn, better be sure to keep this kind of information from your boss. Knowing that you don't intend to stay will give them a reason to go ahead and let you go so they can find someone else. Make sure that people will see what you want them to see so that you don't end up having to do damage control or turn your "new job" hunt into an "any job" hunt.

LinkedIn is a valuable tool that job seekers from 2001 and before probably would have loved to have. The website puts the job market and the people who influence it right at your fingertips. With all the different types of social media networks available now, remembering the right kind of etiquette for each one can be tough. LinkedIn is one of the easier ones--if don't belong in a cover letter or resume, it shouldn't be on your LinkedIn profile.