We’re always stressing to our followers the importance of social media in the current business world and encourage everyone who signs up with Boomerswork.com to get active on social media. Since many of our readers are seeking employment or may be seeking employment in the near future, LinkedIn is an especially important tool to have at your disposal.While boomers make up a healthy percentage of the LinkedIn crowd, there’s still a good number of them that dismiss it as unnecessary. But in reality, job seekers who aren’t on LinkedIn are putting themselves at a disadvantage for finding employment. Some employers use LinkedIn exclusively when hunting for new hires, while other use it as a way to learn more applicants. If you’re not on LinkedIn, or you don’t have a complete profile, it could cost you a job. Make sure you’re using LinkedIn to its full potential and avoid these common mistakes people make with their LinkedIn accounts.
ALWAYS have a profile picture!
This is an instance in which the old saying “never judge a book by its cover” does not apply. A professional, serious profile picture says a lot about you to the rest of the LinkedIn community. It’s something you need to take seriously. Too many people decide that they don’t need a profile picture. Let me tell you unequivocally so there’s no debate; having no profile picture is the worst decision you can make on LinkedIn. It shows everyone that you’re uninterested, unprofessional, incompetent, and lazy. None of that may be true, but that’s what it looks like to everyone else. So use a picture, but not just any picture. It doesn’t have to be professionally taken but make sure you look ncie, make sure you can tell it’s you, and make sure there’s no one else in the picture. Let the profile picture be your number one priority, because without it, you LinkedIn page is useless.
Don’t neglect your profile
Many new LinkedIn users neglect setting up their profile and are more concerned with making connections. While connections are certainly important, having an incomplete or unorganized profile isn’t doing you any favours once those connections see it. Once your profile picture is out of the way, move on to filling out the rest. Make sure your work experience is concise, but complete. Don’t only focus on current positions, highlight your diverse experience. You’ll know which positions can be excluded. Also, don’t skip on the summary, it’s a really useful tool for telling people more about you on a personal level and what you’re looking for professionally. Besides that, include interests, volunteer work and other “outside work” details to round it all out.
Personalize your connection requests
Once your profile is looking professional, it’s time to start making connections. A lot of people start by searching out coworkers or people they know well. That’s fine and a smart way to meet new connections. But take advantage of how connecting on LinkedIn is different from other social media platforms. On LinkedIn, when you send out a connection request, you have the choice of a number of default messages to send with your request, or you can personalize a message. Always personalize your message! No matter if you’re sending it to someone you haven’t met, or to your brother, a personalized message will start your LinkedIn relationship off right.
Remember: It’s not Facebook
LinkedIn is indeed a social media platform, but it’s a very unique and specific platform, and you need to understand its specific rules. You should not be treating your LinkedIn like it’s Facebook. This is not a platform to share your thoughts, family news, personal pictures, or anything that doesn’t fit in the professional world. The safe thing to do is to keep LinkedIn to work subjects. Same goes for who you connect with. Don’t just fill your contact list with family and friends, you’re meant to be networking, not socializing. Facebook has its own purpose, and so does LinkedIn.
“I tried LinkedIn, but it was a waste of time. I filled everything out, and then nothing ever came of it.” I’ve heard this said many times by people, and my follow-up is always the same; “Did you use it?” You can’t fill out a profile, send out some connection requests and then sit back and wait for the job offers. If you seriously want to get something out of LinkedIn, you need to make it a daily commitment. Each day, go onto your LinkedIn, see who is updating what, check for new positions, do some updating of your own, or whatever you need to do to keep your page active. Make it easier for people to find you, and don’t forget your profile is there.
Don’t use only as needed
So you’ve set up a great looking profile, your made smart and helpful connections, you’ve stayed updated on your page, and now you’ve landed a job. That’s great! Now you don’t need your LinkedIn page anymore. Wrong! Too many people only turn to LinkedIn when they need it, then neglect it when they’re comfortable in their job. Stay active on LinkedIn and keep building those connections not matter what your situation is. It can be a great tool to turn to when that situation changes.
Hopefully this can you get your LinkedIn account up and running in an effective way. And don’t forget to follow Boomerswork.com’s LinkedIn page for all the latest updates and opportunities to expand your connections.