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LinkedIn Profile: 6 Common Mistakes Professionals Make

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LinkedIn is the most popular network amongst professionals. However, we do keep doing some common mistakes on our LinkedIn profile and then blame it on the network. This article discusses six common mistakes along with tips that will help you make your LinkedIn profile better.

LinkedIn, one of the world’s largest professional networks is also one of the most popular professional networks in India. According to the August data, the network is home for 16 million plus Indian professionals.

A network that is liked by most of us but at times I have come across professionals saying that LinkedIn has not worked for them. We need to understand that the problem is not in the network but it is we who make it effective or ineffective.

I have been on the network for some time and this has given me an opportunity to observe the different ways professionals misuse the platform. I am sharing 6 common mistakes which I have come across till date. Working on these mistakes will make your professional profile much more credible.

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1. No Display Picture:

This is the most common mistake on LinkedIn. How would you react when you get a LinkedIn invite from someone who has no picture? LinkedIn is a professional network and adding a picture adds credit to your profile.

TIP: Have a genuine one, current photos always score! Please don’t put party pictures, it is not Facebook.

2. Creating Brand Profiles:

LinkedIn has clearly mentioned in its guidelines that users should use LinkedIn profile to create individual profiles. However, I have seen most of us create a brand profile and use it as a user profile. Please don’t do this since no one loves to connect to a brand as a LinkedIn user profile. If you really want to have a profile for your brand/company then there is a LinkedIn Company Page for that purpose.

TIP: Create a company page for your brand and for your profile use the LinkedIn profile.

3. Ignoring Customized URL:

LinkedIn provides a facility where you can select a public profile URL for your profile. If you edit your profile, the network provides a way to change this. The URL that is generated initially by LinkedIn is not search-friendly so select one that will help you appear better on search results.

TIP: Generally people would search you by your name so it makes sense to have a profile URL with your name. This also helps your profile to be ranked high in the search results.

4. Incomplete and Incorrect details:

No pain no gain! The same logic applies to your LinkedIn Profile.

Your profile is more than just a resume and people love to see a profile that is complete. No one would love to add a person who has just a name and nothing else.

Don’t be surprised with people sending LinkedIn requests with just their name expecting you to add them and then do business with them!

Along with complete details, don’t fill details that are not correct. I have come across cases where people have filled false details and the beauty of today’s social world is that you can’t cover up things for long.

TIP: Put efforts in creating a profile and you will see results. These days, people especially recruiters who invest a lot of time in scouting for candidates via LinkedIn appreciate a complete profile. Additionally, along with your designations, make sure that you share what was your work all about.

5. LinkedIn requests:

I have used LinkedIn as an employee but now as an Entrepreneur the use has doubled.

The more you spend time, the more you see people connecting to you since you add value to the discussion. But most of the LinkedIn requests I get are just the same auto generated message. If you know the person then it is fine but if you are asking someone to add you then it makes sense to add a small note of introduction and the reason.

I myself have been guilty when I was looking for jobs and I started adding people like a mission. After effects – most of them rejected my request and LinkedIn blocked my account from adding new profiles. So make sure you use this feature wisely and it’s better to grow slowly.

TIP: Use the LinkedIn message to add a small note to the person stating the reason why you want to connect. I am sure this will give you better results as it has worked for me.

6. Boring Updates:

You are known by your content that you share online. So make sure that you don’t bore or post only updates of your product or your work.

I know that LinkedIn is a network for leads but that will only happen when you add value and earn trust which works depending on your content. So mix your content well and don’t spam only with your product updates on the wall and inboxes as well.

TIP: Mix your content well and don’t get tagged as an online salesman. Good content and interesting thoughts will drive lot of people to your profile.

Hope you find these useful. Do let me know in the comments if you have come across any other mistakes on LinkedIn profiles. I am all ears!

[Author Bio  Prasant Naidu is a Blogger and Founder at Lighthouse Insights, a site that talks about Indian social media news and insights.Loves to experiment in social media and believes social media is a game changer for SME’s.]

  1. Yogin Sabnis says

    Sorry for the typo.
    I meant after yogin-sabnis some numbers are shown like 16/146/169. Can I get rid of these and if I use the link in my email signature, will clicking it open my linked in profile?

    1. Prasant says

      http://www.linkedin.com/pub/yogin-sabnis/16/146/169 this your URL and you can see these numbers. Edit your profile and edit this link and make it Yogin Sabnis so that it is easy for people to search.

      1. Yogin Sabnis says

        Can I physically retype as Yoginsabnis after LinkedIn.com and it will accept?

  2. Yogin Sabnis says

    Prasant
    Great article. Although I am not sure I understood point no. 3 well.
    Sometimes i do post links to my blog articles but I am also still trying to figure out what other updates would be appropriate to post.

    1. Prasant says

      check your link of your LinkedIn public profile. Make sure you make it like your name so that when people search you, they can locate you. For example mine is http://in.linkedin.com/in/prasantnaidu . so this is easy and good for SEO also. just small ways how you can brand yourself better on LinkedIn.
      For your next question may be i should write another post on what kind of content you should post on LinkedIn :)

      1. Yogin Sabnis says

        Well, mine shows /pub/yogin-sabnis and some now. after that. I don’t know if I can change that myself to show only my name.
        Nowadays I am concentrating on getting better at these sites so the article would be welcome.

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