When pressed, lots of business professionals will admit that they are not very active on LinkedIn because they think the business professional social network is  like “Facebook in a suit”. LinkedIn is more than just another social network or a static professional online resume. Most people don’t maintain active profiles on LinkedIn because they mistakenly think there is no point of having a profile when they are not even looking for a job. Check out what  successful people do on LinkedIn.

People maintain LinkedIn profiles for different reasons. You maybe looking for your next executive opportunity, job, business partner, sale, lead or even a solution to a problem. And now new features even makes it easy to be informed and educated on business and personal development by business leaders and influencers.

Regardless of the reason why you use LinkedIn, do not make these LinkedIn mistakes.

The single biggest mistake business professionals make on LinkedIn today is not being on LinkedIn at all. With 90% of companies using some type of social media strategy to increase revenue, your on-line presence is becoming a vital component of your personal and corporate brand.

Don’t skip your headline!

Get the basics right:  Complete your profile, customize your headline. Not sure what your sub headline is? It’s the spot under your name, which usually displays your position and company information-(ie: Founder at Alltopstartups). The headline is the first thing people see after your name so you need to make sure it pops and brands you properly. Your headline determines how often you show up in search results.

Don’t wait for everyone to come to you

I am often surprised by how many business professionals have fewer than 50 connections on LinkedIn. Think of it this way: would you have the same reluctance to hand out or accept a business card at a professional gathering?  Try to see LinkedIn as the professional networking platform that it is rapidly becoming and not as “Facebook in a suit,” where you might only feel comfortable connecting with people you know well. Opportunities are endless if you are prepared to reach out to somebody who could be your next link or connection to that opportunity you are looking for or even that that company you want to join.

Don’t forget to put the pieces together

Your personality and background will speak for you and the company you represent in your absence.  Upload a good headshot. Fill in the summary section with your professional biography. Join alumni groups. Use apps such as the Amazon Reading List to share what books you’re reading or the WordPress app to link to business posts you’ve written, share your slides, presentations if you have a few. And don’t forget to fill out the sections that highlight the languages you speak, the charities that you support or your interests.

Don’t forget to update your LinkedIn status

Your Facebook and Twitter accounts are being updated almost all the time but you cannot say same for LinkedIn.  People have a pretty good idea of what you’re up to socially on Twitter or Facebook but not on LinkedIn, correct that mistake. LinkedIn status is the right place to update your network about your professional accomplishments and progress and what your professional life is heading. Show you’re active and engaged by sharing what you are up to at work, business resources you have found useful, new opportunities your connections will find useful.

Don’t get LinkedIn and Facebook confused. Do not Misrepresenting your appearance!

Most things you share on Facebook should not be shared on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is almost like a representation of who you are professional, what you have done, what are doing and what you could do professionally. Make it count. Facebook is for personal pictures, LinkedIn is for professional ones.  No dog or cat, no husband, no wife, no babies, just you and what you are capable of.  Stick to your professional self, if  you are thinking of changing jobs. A lot of people link to their Facebook profiles from their LinkedIn pages. Don’t do this. It’s best to keep the two profiles separate.


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