Career Development Center

21 Mistakes People Make on LinkedIn

Career services professionals who’ve used LinkedIn since 2004 to help job seekers grow their careers have consistently seen people make some mistakes in how they are using the site. Here are 21 that are reported as being the most glaring:

1. Incomplete Profile Information- Many will sign up for the site but never take the time to include a summary, work history or education. How can anyone help you if they don't know anything about you?

2. Glaring typos- misspellings of job titles and key responsibilities. Have someone proofread your profile from time to time to assure it does not contain any embarrassing errors.

3. No picture/blurry picture/party picture- How can anyone see the professional you if they can't actually see you?

4. Adding everyone who sends you an invitation to your network. Once you lose trust (or don't know) the people in your network, your network loses value.

5. Not checking your inbox. Recruiters and colleagues have sent people job openings that they would have been interested in, but they did not check their inbox. If you are on LinkedIn, check your mail.

6. Using a headline of "Job Seeker" or 'In transition" as opposed to your profile job title (i.e. Accountant).

7. Mixing the professional and the personal. All status updates should only be professional in nature.

8. Not reaching out to your network for help. People remain shy to ask others for assistance. If you are connected on LinkedIn, you shouldn't be shy to ask others for assistance.

9. Never posting a status update. How does one know what you are up to if you don't tell them.

10. Making it obvious you are looking for work. If you already have a job, don't make it obvious to your boss that you are looking. Be discrete about it.

11. Adding the same job or education into your profile many times. It just looks sloppy if you list the same job multiple times and shows you lack attention to detail.

12. Not joining the right groups. Groups that share job listings are great, but what about groups for your industry?

13. Not being active in groups. You've joined the group, now what? Participate in conversations and share relevant information if you want to network within the group.

14. Clicking 'invite all' when importing contact. This can happen to anyone, but do you really want to invite EVERYONE you have ever emailed to your network?

15. Making it impossible to contact you. Unless the person is a premium member or you are already connected, it is hard to reach you on LinkedIn if you don't give any contact information: phone, email, twitter handle or a link to your website.

16. Not responding when others ask for help- How do you expect to receive help in return?

17. Not requesting recommendations. Recommendations build credibility. Few will just come to you. Ask and ye shall (hopefully!) receive.

18. Not checking status updates regularly. What better way to keep track of what your network is up to?

19. Being a ‘know it all’ when engaging others through group discussions. Some people like to put the authoritative stamp on every discussion. Share your opinion, but remember everyone can learn something. So, be open to the ideas of others.

20. Becoming an Open Networker or LION. (See #4)

21. Wait for something to happen through the website. If you want something good to happen in your career, you have to make it happen. Be proactive and go get what you want!

Whether you want advice on how to set up a LinkedIn profile initially, or how to tweak the one you have, we enourage you to contact the Career Development Center at 360-867-6193 to schedule an appointment with one of our Career Advisors.