Scott and Andrew discuss the pitfalls the come with having and maintaining a presence on LinkedIn. To provide a better experience to you, remember the..
The 9 Things You Should Never Do On LinkedIn
- Have a Blank Profile Photo, or Hide Your Photo.
- Have a Cheesy Head Shot, Selfie, or Cropped Wedding Photo.
- A Headline That Says “Seeking Opportunities”
- Empty Sections and No Content Under Experiences.
- Reaching Out To People for Connection Without Telling them Why or What for.
- Make your connections non-searchable.
- Post things way outside the purpose of your brand and presence on the platform.
- Ghost your connections – it’s rude.
- Think you know LinkedIn better than someone else.
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Raw and Unedited Transcript
0:00 – 05:03
Welcome to job seekers radio. I’m Andrew Scott this production this podcast. This radio show is meant to provide you meaningful support to find great careers faster and that’s whether you’re working or not today on job seekers radio we talk about the nine things you should never do on Linkedin we have touched on this subject before but we wanted to go through a few do things just to be really clear. There are probably as many experts on how to use LinkedIn as there are users of LinkedIn we have found that there are some patterns that work and some that don’t and so we want to just help people to understand some of the things that may not land the way you think they do. If you WANNA use them especially. If you want to get the most out of the platform grass possible we all know in some cases is what to do but we don’t know sometimes what not to do and the first thing not to do is don’t not have a profile photograph. It is vital to have a photograph and I say that because part of getting you onto the search engine optimization for lack of a better term I can’t think of the terminology algorithms but yet to be to get onto people researches. You have to have a complete profile so all of the different sections are filled out that includes your photograph. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re going to be. You know maybe maintaining your anonymity if you want to be you’re not discriminate my age or my ethnicity or my get. What do I do get a good photograph and put that on because that’s part of the networking program that they offer they want this to be as complete a picture of you as possible and so your photograph is important it also relates to consistency sometimes they say integrity and people think I’m challenging their their ethics but integrity means that you’re the person on LinkedIn that shows up to the interview that there’s no surprises there so it’s not some glamour shot from nineteen eighty to well and that actually brings us to our second point and that is don’t use poor four photograph a cheesy pick like the selfie nineteen eighty well? If if you’ve got really long arms were that nineteen eighty two glamour shot is probably not the one you want to use. You want to look like the photograph okay so if it’s a really old photo I generally tell people don’t use anything that’s more than five years old and preferably no more than two that also means that some people find it more challenging to have a professional headshot taken. I totally only get that because not everybody can afford that. That’s where the self as come in the picky about the photo that goes on don’t please don’t use wedding photos or photos from the beach or yeah where your your gut your arm around your body and your personal please don’t do that. It doesn’t matter how flattering that photograph is. It’s really distracting to see who did he cut out have a headshot taken. It does not have to be a studio portrait. If you can afford that that’s great. It certainly isn’t your your facebook photo either. Although it can be if you keep it professional if you have a parental also right is also not not a modified filtered shot from snapchat or instagram yes so we’re seeing what we’re seeing. Scott is a younger generation has now gone through college. They’re looking for a professional career and Lo and behold they have the little fairy ears on their head shot with the little stars and and the smooth face right you thrice shelters or the ones well they probably wouldn’t add the cat or dog face the the idea is have a professional shot. It’s important that you’re giving the right message in the photograph and one that aligns with your experience and the kind of work that you do now for example if you have a really good photo of you in at you work in a hospital and you’re in your scrubs and you have the photo is taken in the environment in which you work. That’s okay make sure that the background isn’t sent distracting. I find a lot of photographs on social media in general not just linked in where they haven’t considered what they’re standing in front of and the background becomes distracting. My attention is pulled to what’s going on behind you. You really important that you pay attention to these things.
05:03 – 10:04
The easiest thing to do is to hand your phone to a friend and go actually go outside during a good a nice day because the natural light outdoors as long as it’s not too overbearing <music> natural light is always better. The indoor photos tend to be yellow and depending on the lighting showroom staying the cognizant of the quality of the picture that you’re taking and the quality of the picture that you’re you’re putting up there and it needs to look like you you better to have one than not have one yeah better to have one. That’s professional than one. That’s right so the third thing I see a lot that you should not be putting on your linked in profile is seeking opportunities or looking for my next great employment demint job or whatever that right. It’s all well and good to be looking for a job. We’ve all been there. It’s going to happen to all of us at some point. The Way to mention that is to show in your latest job that there was an end date. Trust me we get it if you are looking to fill that where you used to have your job title put your job title. Put the title of the job that you are looking for. It can be more general if you you are a specialist in something very much in a niche market. That’s fine just make that title more general in the right industry or in the right field they call that section the headline align the headline. Is that hundred twenty characters. That’s right under your name in your head shot and that is customizable. It doesn’t have to be your most recent role under experience. It can be your branding statement. It could be pieces of your branding. The statement could be a target job. Title could be areas of expertise. We know it is keyword driven when it does land certain amount of weight to the Algorithm so make sure the headline that hundred twenty characters has a target job. Subtitle and some key words a little bit of branding at the end so the next one empty content spaces this comes back to whether or not you’re you’re linked in profile is going to get optimize in show up on people’s searches when you have the about out section or some of the other sections when you leave them blank it means that there are fewer ways for other people to find your profile and so we do highly recommend that you fill out all of the different sections in in some fashion especially experience the most recent role under experience the about us said about me section. They just changed it recently so just to be the summary. All we can say is linked probably GONNA change by the time this episode hits the error you listen to it right. It’s possible so just know it’s going to change but just give as much information as you can without it being repetitive without giving away personal information without straying too do things that don’t really relate to the work that you do try to have something in all the sections so that people can find you. Just make it easy to read. That’s the idea and the experience section is kind of limiting that way currently it’s only showing for the first roll inexperience eight eight lines of text even though you can put fifteen hundred characters and they’re sure but then they they have to click through to read more put the important stuff up front and I would encourage you if they’re giving you fifteen hundred characters us most of that just make sure you front load the section with the important stuff like Zach mansion the so the fifth thing not to do on linked in is reach out to people you don’t know without telling them why or what for I I get a lot of those connection requests where all they’ve done is to click on that the section where it says connect and you do it and then sends it. It doesn’t give you the opportunity to give a message. If you see someone that is interesting you think you want to connect go to their profile file and then when you click to connect their it gives you an opportunity to write a message to that person always give them a reason why you’re contacting them because when I get them without if I don’t immediately immediately see how we could mutually benefit one another in networking. I don’t connect. They’re going to evaluate you based on your profile. Whether you have a message or not they’re gonNA evaluate you based on that. That’s the first thing the second thing is Langston is not very good about telling you where they have connect button and it automatically sends and where it doesn’t and that’s even true on the mobile device especially true on on their own for if I it’s like candy crush you’re you’re just hit sitting there hitting the button yeah and not a good idea and even if you go to the profile page on the mobile device and click connect it automatically set us. That’s so if you’re on the mobile device click the three dots. You’ll see what I’m talking about out and then it’ll say send a personalized to request it even uses different language.
10:05 – 15:06
Go figure always send a message telling them why you want to connect personal thing. I do get an occasional message where they say I want to connect because I think que- can benefit one another. You know there’s a mutual benefit here really tell me what you think that benefit is just the generic oh we can help. Each other doesn’t convince me but what I really like. Is I found your profile on LinkedIn. Let’s connect yeah yeah well. You’re on linked myself that made sense to give them a reason. Why are the sixth thing not to do on lengthen which is a no no is make your connections non searchable yeah? What’s the point in that you can you can ratchet down? The security features where people can’t see your connections. That’s the point of linked him is to help people make connection but Scott there mike connections so that’s great so yeah. I don’t know that I would want to connect with you if you if you’re that secretive it is maybe you don’t have any connections at all well. It says five hundred plus yeah whatever quite frankly I think the point of LinkedIn is to show a value that the connections that I have may actually benefit other people and I would hope that the reverse could be true as well. I’m telling you when someone connects with me and it’s obvious that they’re just minding my mic connections but I can’t see there’s I’ve probably not going to stay connected that person because I don’t I don’t understand stand what the value proposition is. There isn’t one right at least not for you exactly don’t do that police and if you have done that you know go to the LinkedIn help section to figure out how to fix it and look at this the privacy settings and make sure you have them set up right right so that you’re not doing that. Millington is really good on helping people with that their help section is actually one of the best ones I’ve looked at. I’ve been through a lot of help. Sections on facebook can’t find anything linked in is actually really really good about educating their users on how to use the platform effectively and if that doesn’t work for you find someone in your area who can actually walk you through it. It’s worth it. You won’t forget how to use it. If you learn to use it well the first time totally worth it. The seventh thing to not do on LinkedIn is postings outside your purpose of being there in alignment with your brand or your presence or your purpose right. We I mentioned it before in terms of you know. If you WANNA be a Jack of all trades and you want to send that message that you can do many things really really well. That’s fine but that’s going to limit the number of people who will connect with you in a meaningful fashion because it’s confusing if I’m looking for someone who has a job progression to show that they had the experience the ability to manage other people and the broader sense of strategic thinking to the job that I’m looking for and your resume is showing that you do a whole bunch of different things that don’t actually matter. I’m not going to consider good. I’m not going to pay attention to that because I’m looking for that that LINEAR thought right by having all these other things out there. You’re mixing your message and I’m not sure what you WANNA do be consistent. Have your profile send a message Ch- have everything you post send the same message right have every interaction on groups. Send the same message and this is what we’re talking about with aligning your brand. You have a brand whether you market yourself well or not the message that you send out there. What your abilities your skills your knowledge value you bring to an organization or to a project that is your personal brand and so if you have everything in your profile allying with aligning leaning with that brand then you’re sending a consistent message by putting the kitchen sink in your linked profile you’re making that less clear posting videos of cats yet floors anything that you would put on facebook unless you’re a cat herder or or a cat person or a veterinarian right yeah? You’re working in. You’re you’re not working in the field or aligning your brand link and may be considered social media but it is targeted. It’s not like facebook and. Pinterest end and instagram where it’s just showing people what you’re doing. What you’re eating? Please don’t do that. The eighth thing not to do on. LinkedIn is do not ghost people yeah. How many times have we we connected with someone they get? The message had like to connect with you. You look interesting so I clicked. Yes I send a message. I always send a message to somebody when they connect with me. How can I help you is my question then when they don’t answer her it makes me wonder? Why did you just connect with me? Of course I’m going to think that you’re just here to get my contact list. Okay that’s understandable but if you’re not adding any value to my world to my network work why would I maintain that connection and at after the second message if you haven’t responded I will disconnect.
15:06 – 20:01
It’s not like a card game war right where you’re trying to get all the cards I mean there’s no value in collecting more connections yeah why not not offering anything people validate themselves on who I have X. number of connections okay. I suppose there’s some value in that but not to the people you’re trying to connect to well you can do that and engage sure is not like your you know it’s not like people are beating down down your door every five minutes right wanting to get a connection if you can now with someone and they reach out to you always respond ghosting as rude LinkedIn does not do a very good job with a message platform that messaging on mobile device you know when you get a message from somebody on LinkedIn. It sends an email saying you’ve got a message yeah. It doesn’t actually give you the message used to there. I’m sure they’re doing that to drive. Traffic back to their platform was for paid service well. There’s lots the reasons the idea of ensuring that you are engaging in conversation isn’t that the purpose of LinkedIn to to network to communicate back and forth if you’re going to connect with people be willing to have those conversations nations. Don’t be so selfish that you if somebody asks for help that you’re not willing to offer assistance yeah. That’s the other thing I I find it interesting. Everybody has their own reason but I know someone who is not willing to connect with anyone. They can’t meet with in person and I respect that. I don’t think that everybody in my neighborhood is the extent of who I could be helpful to or I never know when I might need to reach out somebody they beyond my neighborhood and so if if you’re limiting this to only people that you can meet and have a one on one conversation to okay understand that you are limiting your own ability to us now to use LinkedIn to its fullest degree great. Don’t goes people if some incense you message. Please respond. I know hard. It is to manage messages in there. I probably send a good an end. This is probably saying something I probably sent forty connection requests today and so it’s it’s not also so the nature of your work right but it’s not uncommon that there’s things that get lost in that message string to you’re going to lose things. I don’t suspect that that’s most people know but I also if I expect to have a real back in fourth conversation with someone I give them my email address or my phone number and I have the conversation outside of LinkedIn there you go so you don’t have to be face to face you can always have a phone conversation yeah and that you know it when it comes to any kind of professional relationship it’s likely to happen. Happen on the phone I anyway. This is all part of what does it mean to communicate on a business level. I don’t think that text messages and emails are truly the only way we’re going to communicate in the future and I’ve had this conversation with with people about technology taking over because those who are coming into the job world had never known a world without technology without a smartphones and tablets. Didn’t you get my email and I totally grant that human connection is always going to be needed by human beings how the tools we use to make that connection may change still having that interpersonal conversation is it’s got to get beyond the written word because only three three percent of what we communicate is the word choice. Most of our more than half of our communication happens in body language. Now you might be able to hear somebody language over the phone. Really tone of voice is it was something less than half forty something percent <hes> fifty five percent. I think is in body language and just three percent is in the word choice so please don’t not talk to somebody who asks asks to connect it. In fact I recommend people insist on that brings us to the ninth and final somewhat ironic thing not to do on LinkedIn is think you know LinkedIn better than someone else yeah so eh saying we’re telling people what not to do on LinkedIn Yeah and here we are saying. Don’t don’t think you know LinkedIn better than somebody else. You know. The reason why I’m confident with this podcast is because we are not the only one saying these nine things days. We may have put it together this way in a unique fashion or set it in a slightly different way and we hope so because every time you hear something and and you hear slightly differently it means that you’re probably going to is is going to resonate differently if we can reach those people who have heard the message not really understood it but now they do so much the better. This is not news right. We’re not this not a breaking story. We probably know LinkedIn better than many because we’re in it so much.
20:02 – 21:30
They’re going to be things that we don’t know all of it but I will say that when I talked to somebody who starts to talk to me as if I don’t know LinkedIn at all it’s rather off pudding well so it’s a reminder right. It’s a reminder minder to me and the reason we put it in here as we’re telling ourselves. Hey you know this is an opportunity for me to have a little humble pie sure and also for those who don’t know linked in as well to help educate them and that’s why we even do this podcast in the first place right so we we hope we’ve been helpful here. We like LinkedIn. Obviously we use it all the time. I think it’s a valuable platform and tool. I also tell people don’t take everything too seriously that does it for this episode of Job Seekers Radio you can find all the show notes in resources that job seekers radio DOT COM forward slash zero five three now. We also want to call attention to a free resource that we have. You’ll see it there on the page. It’s the anatomy of a networking conversation a little e-p-o-c-h that Andrew Nye put together. We help you download and use it. You’ll you’ll find it to be helpful. Your investment of time and attention is greatly appreciated head over to itunes. There’s a little link there in the show notes to do that and subscribe to get future episodes while you’re there go ahead and provide a rate in review so we know what we can do better or maybe a topic. We haven’t covered that yet that you would like. She get our perspective on your way. We love answering your.