LinkedIn is considered by many to be the top social media platform for business networking. When used effectively, it can be a powerful tool for your job search. But you need to present yourself well by setting up a strong profile, consistently build your network, and connect with your target audience the right way. Here are five mistakes to avoid when using LinkedIn for a job search.
Penny is very knowledgeable and thorough. With her help I gained a better understanding of how to navigate the LinkedIn site and learned how to reach out to other users to broaden my network with individuals focusing on my area of interest.
Sending Messages that Lack Personalization
It is best practice to personalize your messages because it drives higher conversions. For example, a personalized connection request message that mentions something about a prospect’s profile has a higher acceptance rate than a generic message. When sending messages, try to emulate the way that a conversation would happen in real life. Also, avoid asking for too much right after making a connection; build some rapport first with an introductory call or video conference.
Having an Incomplete or Average Profile
Not completing a strong LinkedIn profile can result in lost opportunities. Here are some of the key elements to include in it when using LinkedIn for a job search:
● Describe each job position you held, highlighting your accomplishments. Include keywords.
● Use the sub-header under your name to communicate your value.
● Include a professional photo and background image.
● Write a strong summary that speaks to your audience and includes keywords.
Not Following Up
Following up is essential for establishing and maintaining relationships. Because people are busy, it can take more than one attempt to make a connection. Once you have connected, build a relationship and keep people updated. You can create a system for tracking your follow-ups. This is an important component of using LinkedIn for a job search. Make sure to get back to people in a timely manner to avoid losing credibility.
Not Asking for Recommendations
People often decide who to work with based on the recommendations of others. Therefore, having a profile with several recommendations, which provide social proof, can significantly increase the validity of your profile. When you give recommendations to others, they will often reciprocate. Be sure to get recommendations from reputable people, such as those you have worked with, including employers and co-workers, and keep them updated. A recommendation from 2005 does not serve you.
It’s best to get detailed recommendations that illustrate your qualifications, how you helped the person that is making the recommendation, and what it was like for them to work with you. To get a detailed recommendation, you can give a template that includes a few questions to the person that you want to get the recommendation from. This can help to guide them when they are writing the recommendation.
Not Having a Strategy with Tracking in Place
One of the biggest mistakes when using LinkedIn for a job search is not having a clear daily plan and tracking system in place. This leads to inconsistency and the inability to see your progress and make necessary changes where needed. For tips on optimizing your process, see our article on Tracking Your Job Search Outreach to Keep Your Pipeline Full.