7 LinkedIn mistakes to avoid when building your personal brand

Ange Connor

It would be fair to say social media is revolutionising the way businesses recruit and having a LinkedIn footprint is crucial for individuals who want to build a personal brand, improve their business networks and develop their careers. There is lots of varying opinions on whether LinkedIn Individual Profile pages will one day replace the good old paper based resume and regardless of if you are a social media fan or a fan of LinkedIn, it’s something you definitely need to factor in to your job search.

This week I was invited to present to the CPA Ballarat Branch on how to create a LinkedIn profile, including tips on how to stand out from the crowd and to share my experiences on how you can use LinkedIn to win business opportunities. Here is a snapshot of my presentation and the 7 mistakes I see many people make on LinkedIn that I think you should avoid when you are trying to build your LinkedIn profile:

  1. Poor profile picture (or no profile picture) – Your LinkedIn profile picture is one of the first things people will see on your profile page or when doing a search. It determines how people will perceive you. Think about how you want to be perceived by others and tailor your picture accordingly. Pictures with others/group photos in casual settings are out. Professional corporate pictures are in. I love Jerome Knyszewski’s blog What does your Linked In profile picture say about you – check it out it’s a very interesting read on how we perceive people.
  2. Having no clear plan on what you are trying to achieve from your LinkedIn profile – Knowing in your own mind what you want to achieve through creating an online footprint is important as it will drive your activity, how you position yourself and the content you share. It might change along the way depending what’s happening in your career but understanding what you want to achieve will help you get clear on the time you need to invest to build and maintain your profile.
  3. Lack of patience and commitment – Building relationships, engaging and connecting with others takes time. You can set up a profile page in a matter of hours however to make it really work for you and what you want to achieve you need to be patient. Take the time to really build relationships, simply connecting with people and leaving it at that is not enough. Be patient and committed and you’ll reap the rewards.
  4. Getting your Title wrong – Job titles are a big thing these days and I’ve seen some companies come up with some pretty creative titles that no one outside of their organisation would have any understanding of what job you really do. You may be a Director, Business Owner, Consultant however I’d encourage you to really think about the Title you are using and does it reflect what you want to be known for, will people use those words to find you in a search.
  5. Not paying enough attention to key words – LinkedIn search functions are driven by the key words you have throughout your profile. By nailing point 2 you should have a clear understanding of the key words you want to build in to your profile – what you want to be known for. Once you know that, get those key words into your profile to increase how you will rank when others are searching for people like you. Make it easy for people to find you and connect or follow you.
  6. Connecting with no Introduction – I get a lot of connection requests from people that I don’t know and most of those have no intro message on who they are or why they want to connect. I find a lot of people want to connect with me as they are looking for work and that’s ok but you want to be memorable. Don’t leave it up to the individual to guess why you might be wanting to connect and some people won’t accept your connection request if they don’t know who you are or why you want to connect. Decide if the follow function might be more appropriate in the first instance. Or if you are sending a connection request add in a message to stand out from the so you can actually build a connection not just connect for the sake of it.
  7. Only posting your own content – Posting your own content is great and it’s really important but if you are really going to really engage, connect and build relationships you need to give to get. Liking, commenting and sharing others content will help you build relationships and engage, it will help you increase your activity ultimately ensuring you get noticed more. It will also help you grow your networks.

Don’t simply create your LinkedIn profile and forget about it. With a little time and effort on a regular basis you can really make it work for you regardless of where you are at in your career and what you are wanting to achieve. Good luck and happy profile building – I look forward to connecting with you!

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

Hand drawn outline of mobile phone, laptop, cup of tea and book from a birdseye view.
Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to get in touch

What would happen if you spent just one hour focusing on your people strategy? Contact us to book your free one hour Inspire HQ People Hour; we’ll help you assess how to build a better workplace.
Megan and Ange are sitting in the Inspire HQ boardroom talking to a man and showing him a report with DiSC in the background.
Contact Us