Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Are You Making One of These LinkedIn Mistakes - Part 2

Last week, I wrote a blog post about making mistakes with your profile on LinkedIn. Heaven forbid you should go to the trouble of creating an online profile, just to have it come back against you because you did not properly manage the process.

Just like you reviewed and edited your resume and researched and prepared for your job interview, your LinkedIn profile is a work in-progress. It is not a set it up and forget it type of entity. If this is your approach to LinkedIn, it is unlikely to produce positive results for you. On that note, let's look at how you can remain active on LinkedIn and the mistakes you may be making.

Your Connections
There are two schools of thoughts on connections - the "more is better" and the "only connect with strategic partners" theories. Being the rule breaker that I am, I believe you can combine the two to have the best of both worlds.

  • Connect with as many people as you can, including your competition. As a business owner, this was hard for me to wrap my mind around. I was afraid my customers would see my competition in my connections and they would take my business. However, this is a two-way street and I am amazed at what I have learned about my industry by connecting with my industry peers.
  • Be strategic in your partnerships and connections. Who are the movers and shakers in your industry? Seek them out and make connections - you might just find a mentor. Who are your customers - or potential employers? Connect with them and you may have a way to network your way into a job.
  • Use LinkedIn connections to put a name to the face when networking your way into a company. Just last week, one of my clients reached out to a recruiter with the company she is targeting and connected with her online. On a whim she stopped into their corporate headquarters and ran into the woman on LinkedIn. She introduced herself in person and had an interview within 24 hours, thanks to the social networking connection she made.
  • Evaluate who is looking at your profile and consider reaching out to them to make a connection. Be careful how you word your introduction - you don't want to appear desperate - you simply want to come across as a savvy networker.
This brings me to our last category of mistakes, communication and activities on LinkedIn. Check back on Thursday for the final Part 3 of this LinkedIn mistakes series.

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