linkedin mistakes

If you haven’t checked LinkedIn lately or updated your profile in months, you’re missing out on one of the best professional networking tools on the internet. Don’t let these common LinkedIn mistakes cause career opportunities to pass you by.

Using unsuitable photos

LinkedIn profiles with photos are 14 times more likely to be viewed than profiles without them. But not just any photo will do; the photo you choose can make a huge difference. When selecting the photo you want to represent your professional brand, it’s important to follow a few guidelines.

Choose a recent photo that’s representative of how you look at work
Don’t choose an image that includes your pet, spouse or friends
Take a photo in front of a simple, clean background that won’t distract from your face
Select a picture in which you look friendly and approachable. A scowl or confused expression won’t have people rushing to click on your profile.

Not optimizing your profile

Did you know that you can optimize your LinkedIn profile to improve your ranking in the social network’s search? Most LinkedIn users don’t. Inc. shared a few simple tweaks you can make to boost your profile.

Users search by using keywords on LinkedIn, so make sure your profile includes keywords that important to your industry, such as corporate meeting planner, event planner and event manager.
Write a great headline, and include keywords in the headline.
Get plenty of endorsements for relevant skills. Endorsements for an in-demand skillset will make it more likely for your profile to appear in searches.

Not using groups effectively

LinkedIn groups are a fantastic way to build your network and boost your presence among industry peers. Here’s what you can do to maximize the advantage of these communities.

Choose groups that are relevant to your field. Joining a group opens you up to a world of new connections that are targeted and specific to your niche. Groups also allow you to send messages to fellow members who you’re not yet connected to.
Participate! Share your expertise and opinions in group discussions. You’ll gain respect for your skills and build a good reputation among your peers.

Rejecting connections from people you don’t know

In its early days, LinkedIn recommended that users accept only connections they know personally. LinkedIn has evolved greatly since then, making that advice obsolete. Now, in order to get the most out of the site, users should expand their networks by making connections with people they don’t know.

Send personalized connection requests to industry professionals you want to get to know. Instead of sending the default LinkedIn message, use a personal touch to make your request stand out.
The bigger your network, the more views your profile will get. You never know who could stumble upon your profile, from a potential client to a possible partner.