LinkedIn is great, you can use it to stalk people and find out what their jobs are or you can use it to be professional and make connections. Networking is tough, even at CGD HQ we regularly struggle with networking, so LinkedIn takes some of the pressure off and lets you find people you’ve worked with who’ll endorse your skills and follow people in your dream field or career all from the comfort of your bed. It’s perfect, really. And now that it’s 2016 you might be looking to nail that dream career, so it’s time to up your LinkedIn game, here’s how to fix the most popular mistakes – chill, we’ve got your back!
Using a selfie
Having a profile picture makes your profile look more professional, and makes people more likely to click on you, however, try to avoid selfies, holiday pics or anything involving alcohol – especially if you’re looking to get hired. I know, I know, that selfie you took is the absolute best you’ll ever look – but for now it’s better to get a nice professional photo in a shirt against a white wall, or use a graduation photo.
It’s time to get creative and give yourself the headline you deserve (but don’t overdo it) put your best foot forward, use a recent internship in your headline or if you’re unemployed try to go with ‘volunteer’ or ‘freelancer’ somewhere in your title (and have some experience to back it up!). Likewise, in your description go hard or go home! Talk about all your proven experience and big your achievements and problem solving skills up, it’ll look impressive to anyone reading.
Being afraid to connect:
Who do you have on LinkedIn? Your mum? Your Facebook friends? There’s a danger that you’ll turn LinkedIn into just another social media page to stalk your ex with, so it’s time to make meaningful connections, send a message to someone you’ve worked with or look for University professors, industry experts and people you have proven connections with. It’s always polite to send a message first, LinkedIn has a policy on adding people you don’t know – not that it stops most of us.
Treating it like a CV
So you’ve put your employment experience on your LinkedIn page, now what? Do you simply list everything you did (answered phones, sent emails, attended events) or do you fluff it out with a bit of personality? The correct way to do things on LinkedIn is to tell a little bit of a story, don’t go too deep but talk about what you gained from your experience, what your tasks were and how they helped you grow and what challenges you overcame. Bullet points make you look unenthusiastic, unfortunately.
You have no media on your page:
LinkedIn now allows you to add a background image, which is a whole other dilemma – don’t go for something unprofessional but try to tie your whole experience and profile together with an image, even if it’s just an inoffensive sunset. You should also be adding media to your LinkedIn page, documents, photographs and links strengthen your experiences, so add them as often as you can. It’s a great way to break up your page and give people something to look at.