Cofounder of CareerBlast, William Arruda, has highlighted 9 myths about LinkedIn which could change your mindset and enable you to start using it as a platform for managing your career advancement.
As written for Forbes, the 9 myths are:
- LinkedIn is for job searching only
Yes, recruiters use LinkedIn to source candidates for vacancies – but that’s not the sole purpose of the platform. In today’s digital world, LinkedIn is the place to make a first impression to those who are searching for you online. It’s also the place where you can manage your ongoing career development, from nurturing business relationships to demonstrating your thought-leadership.
- Accessing LinkedIn while at work is being disloyal
Using LinkedIn to promote your company by sharing news and updates with their connections helps to advance both your current organisation and your own career. The same is true when you source staff, interact with network members to solve challenges, and benchmark processes. LinkedIn’s greatest value comes from helping you rev up performance at work.
- Only accept connection requests from people you know
Although LinkedIn advises this, Arruda says this is a bad idea. LinkedIn search results are influenced by the number of connections you have. The more connections, the more frequently (and the more highly ranked) your profile will appear. In addition, you can only see full profiles of your first- and second-level connections. So, the more connections you have, the more complete profiles you see.
- Don’t connect with people in your company
Corporate clients say, “LinkedIn should be used to connect with clients and business partners, not colleagues.” LinkedIn makes money selling licenses to firmd that give people in the organisation access to the networks of everyone in the company. If everyone in the company were connected to each other, there would be no need to buy these costly licenses, and it would help the entire organisation to be more successful.
- Your profile is your online CV
LinkedIn is so much more than just an online CV. Think of it as your customised online website or portfolio. With a CV, you detail your accomplishments. With a custom portfolio, you show people who you are and what makes you great, all with the aim of getting them to want to know you. Your summary is like the “about” page of your website. And because LinkedIn allows you to be more creative and expand by integrating images, reports, slide presentations and videos into your profile, you can also show people the value you describe in the experience section.
- Your LinkedIn headline should be your job title
Because LinkedIn is so much more than just an online CV, your headline is crucially important. Those 120 characters help people viewing your profile to determine if they want to learn more about you. Use your headline to create both relevance and intrigue – to encourage your viewers to read on. Consider this formula: Job title + Company + Keywords you want to be known for + Zing. Zing being something that makes you interesting to those who are researching you.
- The best LinkedIn networks connect you with “your people.”
The most valuable networks, whether in the real or digital world, are diverse networks. Connect with a wide range of people from your dentist to the local florist down the street – all have potential value to contribute to your career success. Ivan Misner, the founder of the successful networking group BNI, put it this way in a piece in Entrepreneur: “Although it is good to include these people in your personal network, any attempt to network with them exclusively would be a tremendous mistake.”
- You need a premium account to get value from LinkedIn
Yes, you can access people out of your network when you buy a premium license, but for most people who are not recruiters or salespeople, the free version has more power than you could ever use, as long as you know how to take advantage of all the features and functionality. By exploring the basic features, you will start to see which elements will be most helpful to your career goals.
- Endorsements are meaningless
Yes, you have probably been endorsed for a skill you don’t have or by someone you don’t know, but actually the endorsements feature is a powerful one. In the new LinkedIn interface, the top three skills for which you have been endorsed feature prominently on your profile. This speaks volumes about who you are and whether you’re relevant to the viewer. Strive to get your top three in order of importance to your career goals whether you think endorsements are silly or not.
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