3 Mistakes You Might Be Making on LinkedIn

If you're using LinkedIn, you likely know the importance of having a good photo, a complete profile, and accurate information. However, there are a few mistakes you might be making, without even knowing it. Before you make one more connection (let alone attempt to apply for another job) take a moment to make sure you're not making one of these critical mistakes that could cost you.

(Photo Credit: Sheila Scarborough/flickr)

1. Using Your Full Address

One of the most common mistakes people make on their resume -- and on LinkedIn -- is using their full address. Listing your hometown may seem more honest, but a recruiter might be docking you points based on the distance from your home to the office.

"When recruiters know exactly where you live, they take into consideration your commute time," says AvidCareerist's Donna Svei. "You might not have thought about it, but in-house recruiters know that people with long commutes have more stress and often eventually quit 'because of the commute.' ...If your commute would be longer than what's tolerable long-term, your resume often finds its way into the 'maybe' or 'no' pile."  

Instead of listing your own address at the top of the resume, give the addresses of your most recent employers in their sections.

2. Using the Default Connection Request

Often on LinkedIn, people don't put much thought into requesting connections, sending a request using the standard default message.

On Forbes, LinkedIn Career Expert Nicole Williams advises users, "Don't use the standard connection request! People think that LinkedIn is like Twitter, where it's about quantity over quality, but you’re supposed to be building valuable professional relationships to leverage into career opportunities."

It's especially important to do your homework if you're reaching out to connect with someone you've never met. Williams suggests that users customize their messages, making reference to things like recent articles the person has written or connections they have to the writer. 

3. Ignoring the Privacy Settings

Just like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn has privacy settings. Williams explains that users should be discreet when looking for new jobs.

"A telltale sign to an employer that you’re leaving is that you overhaul your profile, connect with recruiters, and have an influx of new people," she says. "You can tailor your settings so that your boss doesn’t see that you’re looking for opportunities."

These settings are easy to find: Simply sign in, then select "settings" from the drop-down menu, where your name appears in the upper right-hand corner.

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Do you use LinkedIn to help advance your career? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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