You’ve finally done it. You’ve finally got around building that stellar LinkedIn profile. You’ve doublechecked for typos, added your most recent job experience, inserted a professional headshot, and even gotten some recommendations on your skills section.
Your profile is looking rock solid, but now it’s time to start networking and building connections that will get you results. Before you dive head first by connecting with everyone you see, here are some extremely common mistakes people make when networking with LinkedIn.
Using the default invitation message
Click the “connect” button on someone’s LinkedIn profile and you’ll send a default message saying you’d like to add that person to your LinkedIn network. Well, that’s an okay message if you’re simply trying to connect with a friend or long-time work companion, but it’s not going to fly when it comes to building new alliances with strangers.
Instead, you need to get to the bottom of why you’re sending the message in the first place. Make sure the receiver of your message knows who you are, where you came from, and why you want to connect. If you’ve got a proposition for them then make sure to emphasize what they get out of it.
It’s common for people to connect with you, but not respond back or leave you a message. They might be waiting for a less busy time to talk, or simply added you to gain another connection for their account. If so, feel free to shoot them a message after a few days have past, but not any sooner – you don’t want to annoy them with what they might already be thinking is spam.
Not using an effective headline
It’s one of the first things people see when they look at your request and decide whether to connect with you. A strong headline allows the person to understand what you do and what you’re really after. It’s always better to be more specific than broad. For instance, don’t simply say you are a marketer. Say you are a digital marketing consultant. Be even more specific than that if you can. You’re a digital marketing consultant for Fortune 500 companies.
Try to include as many keywords as possible too. If you’ve had experience with multiple roles you can give yourself multiple titles and separate them with line breakers. (e.g. Digital Marketing Consultant | Content Marketer)
Getting too personal too soon
Yes, you want to get personal. But often, you barely know the people you’re trying to connect with or haven’t spoken with them in months, if not years. It’s important to take things slow. Don’t try to get too many things done at once with your preliminary LinkedIn message. Get them hooked. Get them interested. Then once they’re willing to commit more with your proposition, that’s when it’s time to really start going into the nitty gritty personal details that can really reel them in.
Not using LinkedIn’s built in features
There are features on LinkedIn such as the Alumni Tool that you might not be putting to full use. You can access it by navigating to your school using LinkedIn’s search box, and then clicking on the View Alumni button. Filter out by location, company, graduate date, field, etc. and connect with alumni who you feel can help you on potentially furthering your career endeavors.
Remember, sometimes in business it’s not about what you know – it’s who you know. Use LinkedIn correctly to network with the right groups of people and you can skyrocket your career to otherwise unreachable levels.