LinkedIn to-do list: Why I’m not doing it right and how you can learn from my mistakes

Keep Calm and Spell CheckConfession time: I don’t really like spending time on LinkedIn. I’ve had my profile for a while, but the network just seems to me like a boring, stuffy place to be. However, especially after this week’s readings, I’m convinced that I need to beef up my LinkedIn profile and perhaps give spending time on the network another try.

I have managed to avoid a few of the most common LinkedIn mistakes. I have a profile photo that looks like me and does not include any family members or pets — just me. And I list my jobs all the way back to the first job I had at age 16. But I do need to start sharing status updates that are targeted to the professional audience on LinkedIn.

“You could be updating about a colleague getting a promotion or sharing a great article you wrote,”  LinkedIn Career Expert Nicole Williams told Forbes. “Every few days, put something in your status to keep it fresh, and show you’re active and engaged—no one will know what you’ve done if you’re not showing it off.”

At the very least, I could start sharing links on LinkedIn to the blog posts I write for this class, Intro to Social Media, as well as links to my blog for my other class this semester, Intro to Multimedia Communications.

How often do you update your LinkedIn status? What kinds of things do you share?

I also need to update my professional headline. After all, I’m a journalist (although, apparently, many journalists make mistakes on LinkedIn). My headline should be awesome. I’m literally a trained headline writer. Instead, my headline is the default current job title and company name. I also need to go down this list from Social Media Examiner and make sure I’m taking advantage of things like listing my current work projects, pumping up the key words in my summary and making sure all my skills are listed.

I’m not in the market for a job — I’m quite happy in my role as community engagement specialist for AL.com — but if I ever need to do some job hunting, LinkedIn will certainly be the place to do it. The Wall Street Journal reports that companies are increasingly turning to the network for job candidates. Companies can pay for LinkedIn services like job ads, career pages and recruiter talent finder to locate the best person for the job. According to this infographic, social media has helped one in six people find their current job. That’s good reason, by the way, to avoid references to illegal or inappropriate behavior on social media (not just LinkedIn) and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD USE SPELL CHECK.

Have you ever found a job thanks to social media? If so, what network and how did it happen?

Be sure to connect with me on LinkedIn. I promise improvements are coming soon.

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9 thoughts on “LinkedIn to-do list: Why I’m not doing it right and how you can learn from my mistakes”

  1. Julie, I am also totally guilty of the LinkedIn “sins” you mentioned. I never update my LinkedIn status (gasp!) I have never gotten a job strictly off of social media, but I’m sure staying connected with my colleagues on social media has helped strengthen my career opportunities. Like you, I love my job, but I don’t want a messy social media house, so I had better tidy up my LinkedIn profile!

  2. Julie,

    You’re not alone in your stance on LinkedIn, however, we’re not in the same boat. I love LinkedIn. I’m almost addicted to LinkedIn. Maybe it’s because I’m an ENFJ and naturally enjoy socializing and networking with likeminded, successful people like you. Regardless of the reason, we as media professionals should embrace LinkedIn. Journalism students should opt to build their personal brand through LinkedIn, and take advantage of the opportunities to display a demo reel or port via SlideShare, YouTube, Behance, or one of many apps that can be embedded into their LinkedIn account. Potential employers will see what you bring to the table in addition to a degree and internship experience. It’s just good business sense.

  3. Great honest post! I think we can all utilize LinkedIn more. Sometimes it gets overwhelming to keep updating all of these social media sites and I have a job that I enjoy so I let LinkedIn slip under the radar every now and then but there really is no reason I should be letting this happen. Updating a status on LinkedIn once or twice a week takes 5 seconds. I think the hardest thing for me to implement into my LinkedIn practices will be to interact on groups. There are so many comments on them that it is hard to keep up with what’s going on sometimes!

    And I’ve never gotten a job through the site but my current employer posts available positions all the time. It’s cool to see!

    Ok, now onto Jason…what the heck is an ENFJ?! I even Googled this and don’t think I found the right answer. Explain lol…

    1. Thanks, Alexis! I think I’ve fallen into the same trap of thinking, “I like my job, so no need to make my LinkedIn profile extra special.” Wrong! To brand myself as a social media professional, I need to be rocking every major network, including LinkedIn. Not to mention it could help me find jobs and other opportunities later on down the road.

      Oh, and ENFJ is a personality type. Here’s a link explaining: http://www.16personalities.com/enfj-personality. I’ve read a book about this form of personality testing, and I’ve taken the test before, but I can’t remember what I was. It looks like you can take the test on that website if you’re interested.

  4. I LOVE how honest your blog was! I definitely do not have a perfect profile and don’t like spending a lot of time on LinkedIn either. It isn’t the most entertaining social networking site, but it is useful! Since I was recently searching for a job, I was constantly updating my profile. About every 2 weeks to add keywords, connect with people, and to endorse others so that they would endorse me as well. I have found a few job opportunities but none that I have gotten a job after applying. Great post!

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