7 Things you should NOT do on LinkedIn

There’s a lot about what you should do on LinkedIn, how about some things that you shouldn’t do?

 1.       Don’t ignore your LinkedIn profile.  If you set up your LinkedIn profile more than 60 days ago, it’s time to update it.  Things change in LinkedIn, our ministries, and our lives.  Your profile should reflect those changes.  Recent surveys found only 20% of LinkedIn users check their profile more than once a month.  I’m not sure it’s that low, but I know many users only open LinkedIn when they get an email telling them they have an invitation or message.  You are missing a gold mine if you don’t at least quickly scan through your network updates on your home page, and check to see who’s viewed your profile every day or two.  It doesn’t take but a few minutes, and you will find many new connections by doing only that.  You will also see things your network is doing that you might benefit from or participate in, or at least encourage them with.  Your network is valuable and must not be ignored if you want to benefit from LinkedIn.  If you are in doubt about the value of your LinkedIn profile, try searching for your name in Google, I’ll bet your LinkedIn profile if among the results.  If it’s not, it’s time to work on it.

 2.       Don’t overuse your LinkedIn ‘Status’ update – Your LinkedIn status should not include your Twitter and facebook postings.  Your LinkedIn network is mostly professional connections and they don’t care if you just got an awesome ice cream cone, or your dog had puppies.  If you post too many insignificant updates to your LinkedIn status, it will likely be ignored (think about the one’s you actually read).  Your LinkedIn status updates should include things that your professional connections will be interested in.  On the other hand, don’t go too long without changing it.  Keeping it current is an easy way to keep your name in front of your connections, and let them know what you are doing (professionally).  They may want to help you!

3.       Don’t forget to make use of your LinkedIn ‘Summary’ – Too many profiles don’t include a summary, or only include a few sentences.  Your LinkedIn summary should tell people what you can do for them.  The first several sentences must include the ‘key words’ that potential connections might search for to find you.  My key words include deliverance, inner healing, training, LinkedIn, etc.  If in doubt, type some key words you think others might use to find you in the search box and see who comes up.  You should also make sure you have a few sentences about what you did at each of your current and past positions (in the Experience section).  This lets people know who you are, what you have done, and why they should contact you.

4.       Don’t forget to customize your LinkedIn Public Profile URL – This is the last item in the initial information box, just before your summary.  Your LinkedIn Public Profile URL is the “internet address” for your LinkedIn profile.  If you have not customized it, the LinkedIn default includes your name and lots of meaningless numbers and letters.  If you customize it, it’s easy to remember by you and your connections, it’s easy to use by not having to also enter all those numbers and letters, it can be easily included in your communications like emails, letters, resumes, business cards, websites, etc., if you don’t have a website it can be your mini-website, and it lets people know that you know your way around LinkedIn.  You can customize it by letting your mouse hover over “profile” in the top menu bar and clicking on “Edit Profile”, then clicking on the blue “Edit” just after your existing public profile.  You should try to just have your name, if it’s already taken, try some alternatives like including your middle initial or full name in lieu of a nick name.  The only rule is making sure it’s professional.

5.       Don’t forget to include your Photo – A photo in LinkedIn tells others that you are a real person.  If should be a professional looking head shot on a semi-plain background.  LinkedIn is a professional network and other professionals want to know what you look like before they contact you or invite you to join their network.  A professional head shot will downplay things like age, gender, race, nationality or other factors.  Not having a photo can limit your LinkedIn success.  FYI – LinkedIn says it’s a violation to use anything other than a photo (no company logos, symbols, etc.)

6.       Don’t accept invitations or join groups without checking out the owner – I always make it a habit of being sure who invites me to connect or who wants to join my groups.  Look at their experience, education, recommendations, and even their groups.  I occasionally find people who have views or beliefs that totally conflict with mine.  I try to be polite and let them know that I don’t want to offend anyone that I’m connected to and we probably would bring value to each other.  That means you must be careful not only who you are connected to, but what groups you join, others might be looking.

7.       Don’t forget to “like” or “comment” on your connections status if you agree – The value of social media is multiplying our efforts.  If one of your connections says or does something that you believe your network would benefit from, let others know about it.  On a much smaller (and more professional) scale, it’s like twitter.  When you re-tweet (like or comment in LinkedIn terms) one of your network’s efforts, they will be more inclined to help you when they can.  Even if they don’t, if it adds value to you and your network, it’s a great thing to do.  My social network motto is “pay it ahead”.  Hey, while we are on the subject, be sure to let others know about Linked4Ministry!

Linked4Ministry is not only a blog, it’s a LinkedIn group, a facebook page, a twitter page, and a website!  Please do let others know about it.  Thanks as always for following us.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Sally Bohart on May 22, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Bill,
    This is very helpful. I will check my profile. Thanks,
    Sally

    Reply

  2. […] 7 Things you should NOT do on LinkedIn (linked4ministry.wordpress.com) […]

    Reply

  3. Posted by Tom Sheltraw on July 9, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Great article, and very helpful. I look forward to reading future articles. Keep up the great work for the Kingdom.

    Reply

  4. Great article, and very helpful. I look forward to reading future articles. Keep up the great work for the Kingdom.

    Reply

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