Since LinkedIn® continues to remain the king of the professional networking world, and I’ve been active on the platform since early 2004, I thought I’d share some of the most common myths I encounter and frequently need to dispel as a LinkedIn trainer/strategist/speaker. I’ll share more of these in the future but, for now, here are the three myths that top the list:
1) If you build it they will come.
Just because you took the less than 30 minutes to cut and paste from your resume or bio to enter your credentials and professional experience on LinkedIn 5 years ago it does not mean this is a set it and forget it social network. Not only does your profile likely need a serious makeover so that it features your “career story” in the Summary section, and each job in your Experience section includes 2-3 significant accomplishments, and you wrote it all in 1st person, it also needs to include at least 2 recommendations for each position and a respectable number (10) of Skills that have received some Endorsements.
2) If I look at someone’s profile they will surely look at mine.
The days are long gone when it was a novelty to have someone look at your profile. Today, the number of profile views each week are in the billions and then let’s not forget the advent of bots/apps that “crawl” LinkedIn and view profiles of those that – dare I say – a desperate person has specified as targets. For example, they’ll program these tools to “go look at the profiles of people with “LinkedIn trainer” in their headlines once a month” so they can sit and wait and hope someone looks at their profile in return. Could there be a more inauthentic way to create new connections?! Don’t answer that.
3) If I treat LinkedIn like Facebook prospects and future colleagues will see that I am human and a fun, caring person.
On LinkedIn, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, attempting to use LinkedIn as a personality enhancer by sharing inappropriate cartoons and such usually does more damage to your professional brand than sending invitations to connect without personalizing them. At the forefront of this misguided behavior is including profile photos that feature your whole body – as if it’s a dating site – or you and a pet, unless perhaps you’re running an animal shelter or are a veterinarian but even then, most professionals would probably rather see you in a classic headshot.
What other myths would you add to these 3 and how might you debunk them? Share them here and I’ll add them to a future post in this series and definitely give you a mention. Want me to makeover your LinkedIn profile? Contact me here and I’ll reply to schedule a private profile upgrade session with you.
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