LinkedIn is the world’s largest social network for working professionals—there are a total of 467 million LinkedIn users and nearly half use the network daily. If you are reading this blog, odds are you’re one of them. There are many advantages to being a member of this professional social network, but a few impactful mistakes can be holding you back from getting the most out of the platform. LinkedIn’s own Senior Account Executive, Erica Pyatt, helped us compile a list of the top three mistakes individuals make on LinkedIn and why you should stop.
Mistake #1. Accepting every connection request, or connecting with people that you do not know.
The average number of connections per LinkedIn user is 400, but large follower counts can actually detract from your success on the platform. More so than for other social networks, LinkedIn is all about quality over quantity. To maintain the power of your network, Erica advises that users “only connect with people if they know them well enough to comfortably and confidently make an introduction for them or to them.” In networking, avoid thinking about people as contacts—a Rolodex entry you only reach out to when you need something—instead, truly think of them as connections. Connections are two-way relationships where you give as much as you receive and stay in touch. Valuable connections require care and maintenance, and you can’t do that well with people you only know online. 80% of LinkedIn members consider professional networking important to their career success—all the more reason to do it right.
Mistake #2. Leaving your profile incomplete.
The richer and more personal your profile is, the more impactful it can be. Complete profiles add a human element to the platform, separating valuable connections from bots. Erica explains, “A LinkedIn profile should not be treated like a static version of your resume, but a mode of professional, self-expression that informs not only your next job opportunity but your next meeting. This is your opportunity to show people what you’ve accomplished, who you are and what value you can bring—going far beyond the roles and responsibilities neatly arranged on your resume.” Attention to these details pays dividends. Profiles with photos receive 21 times more profile views and 36 times more messages. Profiles with skills listed receive 13 times more profile views than those with that section left blank. And the simple act of keeping your position up-to-date attracts eight times more profile views.
Mistake #3. Not engaging with the platform.
“If you are not sharing, liking, commenting, and otherwise engaging on LinkedIn and its content, you are missing out on the richness of the platform,” said Erica. Over 1M professionals have published a post on LinkedIn and members publish 160K long-form posts every week. The content is there, worth engaging with and trusted by 71% of professionals as a credible source. Being engaged on LinkedIn builds and nurtures your network while making the important designation that you are interested in more than finding your next job. Members see 15 times more content in their feed than job postings and at any given time, only about 30% are looking for a new job. The other 70% are building and continuing relationships, positioning themselves as thought leaders in their industries, and putting in the work that prepares them for success when they find themselves looking for a new opportunity.