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Common LinkedIn Mistakes (And How to Fix Them!)

  According to Visual.ly, LinkedIn boasts 238 million users and 3 million LinkedIn business pages as of September, 2013. With such steep competition on this professional networking site, it is vital to make sure your LinkedIn profile outshines all the rest.   So you have created your profile, uploaded a snazzy (yet professional) photo of yourself and added your resume. So what now? It’s time to fine-tune your profile and make sure you are not making one of these common LinkedIn mistakes.   1.       You lack a custom URL: A sure sign that you are new to LinkedIn, or at least not LinkedIn savvy, is that you lack a custom URL for your LinkedIn profile. How can you tell? First off, check directly under your photo. If the URL you see there is your name with a series of numbers and/or symbols you can be certain that your URL is not custom. To change your LinkedIn URL, navigate to the Privacy & Settings portion of your profile, edit your profile and click the ‘edit’ feature next to the URL below your photo. Rather than the random URL assigned to you and your profile, change it to your name or an easily distinguishable combination of your name. So why does a custom URL matter? Simple answer: it makes finding you easier! Be sure to include your new, customized URL on your business cards and resumes so that after your meet someone or have an interview they can locate you quickly and easily on LinkedIn.   2.       You aren’t following companies: LinkedIn isn’t just about you being found, it is about finding others as well! If you aren’t following companies and businesses on LinkedIn you are missing out on a huge opportunity to scope out potential job openings. Even if you aren’t interested in a particular company or business, follow that company if they are in the field you are pursuing! Doing so will keep you updated on industry trends and happenings. Following companies may also put you a step ahead of the competition when it comes time to nabbing a new job, as companies may post their openings on LinkedIn before other online job boards; meaning you may have first dibs on an interview! Following companies also shows other LinkedIn users that you are active and interested in staying updated on the career landscape.   3.       Your profile is incomplete: Although it is tempting to think you are good to go by simply setting up a profile, adding a picture and adding some info…this is not the best way to utilize LinkedIn. The more complete your profile the more ‘searchable’ you are by other users, and more the searchable you are, the more easily you have of  landing an interview. LinkedIn offers a feature on your profile page titled ‘Improve Your Profile’ and this easily takes you step by step through the missing pieces of your profile. Any sections that are not filled out (or filled out with great detail) LinkedIn will prompt you to expound upon. The more information you can offer on your profile the better shot you have at impressing a recruiter or potential employer. Tip: optimize your profile for the job you want, not the job you have! LinkedIn is a great way of telling people about your professional history, but it also serves as a springboard into the future. Craft your profile so that it will get the attention of a professional in the industry you are vying for.   Job searching can be tricky! Need assistance with your resume or interview? Contact WTI today!     Happy job searching WTI students!