LinkedIn is a powerful career-building tool that allows professionals to network, connect, and manage their online reputations. But a large majority of its users—even highly educated, high salaried professionals—mismanage their online presence. Building a distinctive, tailored LinkedIn “resume” is the first step in developing a strong online reputation, but personal branding goes beyond that first initiative. The following three missteps frequently undermine the professionalism and legitimacy of a well-crafted LinkedIn profile.
Mismanagement of Recommendations
Building credible recommendations and endorsements are as necessary to online personal marketing as they are to developing a strong resume. When requesting recommendations from former business associates and senior executives, LinkedIn users should communicate the need for a personalized recommendation. Generic, perfunctory, or even effusive recommendations can undermine the legitimacy of an expert online profile. Failing to utilize the supplied section for personal and professional recommendations—or failing to garner endorsements for touted skills—may stagnate otherwise promising growth of a LinkedIn network.
Job Seeker vs Career Builder Mentality
LinkedIn helps new professionals and established executives make meaningful online connections, building their business networks and cultivating career opportunities. But many LinkedIn users fail to realize that marketing their personal brands is a full time job. “LinkedIn profile” is not synonymous with “professional resume;” an expertly written online profile is a starting point for developing meaningful connections, not simply a mark on the “job search” checklist. Instead of using a LinkedIn account to find job opportunities, utilize social media to build current career connections. When it’s time to push forward into a new career, recruiters will choose the tailored profile, professional endorsements, and expansive network of an online reputation management expert over the basic profile of the “LinkedIn job hunter.”
Personal Branding Missteps
In today’s culture, it is increasingly difficult to separate “personal branding” from “personal life.” LinkedIn is a professional platform for establishing and building careers, but a remarkable number of qualified professionals allow overly personal information onto their LinkedIn profiles. A poorly chosen profile picture often undoes the most qualified business executives, and allowing links to personal web pages like Facebook or Twitter often tarnishes professional personal branding. When establishing a LinkedIn network, choose a tasteful, professional profile photo, use crisp, creative verbiage, and maintain the personal/professional boundary by checking the privacy settings of your various social network accounts.
Contact Executive Resumes Atlanta for an impactful resume, LinkedIn management services, and coaching on personal marketing for career advancement.