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May 09, 2011
Don't Make These Common Mistakes

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Article: Don't Make These Common Mistakes

Meg Guiseppi, Executive Personal Branding and Job Search Strategist

You probably know by now that LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool for personal career branding and job searching. In fact for job seekers, it's one of the best online tools to land a job right now. In case you don't know about LinkedIn, get busy immediately building your online professional profile.

Don't make these common LinkedIn mistakes that job seekers are making:

BUILDING YOUR PROFILE

1. Not personalizing your LinkedIn public profile URL. Many people leave the default mess of letters and numbers at the end of the URL. Change that to "yourname" or as close to it as you can come.

2. Not including a photo. Branding and career marketing are about creating emotional connections. People believe content more when it's accompanied by the author's photo. An online profile with no photo is a missed opportunity to reinforce your brand and engage people.

3. Not adding links to websites or web pages. Include links to your website, blog, VisualCV, Twitter or other online profiles, so people can get more on-brand information about you and see what else you're up to.

4. Not having a searchable professional headline that brands your unique promise of value and resonates with your target audience. Make sure your relevant key word phrases show up in your headline so that recruiters and hiring decision makers sourcing top candidates by searching LinkedIn will find you.

5. Having no recommendations. Solicit recommendations that reinforce your brand and the best you have to offer. Capture attention at the top and convince people to continue reading down through your entire profile.

6. Not proofreading and re-proofreading and having someone else proofread your profile for typos and grammatical errors.

7. Not having a 100% complete profile. LinkedIn suggests that when your profile is 100% complete, your chances of rising toward the top of LinkedIn searches greatly improves.

WORKING YOUR LINKEDIN MEMBERSHIP

8. Not updating your profile regularly. Refresh the "What are you working on?" network update as one way to stay top of mind with your network and let them know what you're up to.

9. Neglecting LinkedIn Groups. Join appropriate groups, participate in discussions, and start your own conversations. Ask questions and provide answers within your areas of expertise. Position yourself as a subject matter expert. Post articles and information that will be helpful to members.

10. Not personalizing the default invitation to connect message. Change the "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn" message when you send out invitations.

11. Not including a link to your LinkedIn URL and profile within your email signature and on your resume.

12. Overlooking the LinkedIn Jobs tab. LinkedIn brings together many job postings, some of which are exclusive listings.

Don't neglect the potential of LinkedIn! As a career professional or job seeker you should be using many forms of social media for your career - especially when searching for your next job, remember that!

With 7 certifications, Meg Guiseppi is one of only a handful of career professionals worldwide trained and certified in personal branding, online identity management and resume writing. As the Founder and CEO of Executive Career Brand, Meg helps c-level and senior-level executives define their brand, create brand-reinforcing career marketing communications and build a solid online footprint to increase their credibility and visibility to recruiters, employers, and hiring decision makers