LinkedIn is a platform that the majority of us use every single working day and for anyone (particularly recruiters) working in the recruitment and staffing industry, it’s one of the most valuable tools out there. However, that’s not to say that people don’t use it properly and its potential can often be wasted. Below we’ve outlined seven mistakes you could be making on LinkedIn and how you can rectify them.

You don’t have a profile photo

If there’s anything that automatically puts me off accepting a connection request on LinkedIn, it’s the little grey icon where someone’s picture should be. Having a photo enables users to trust you and start building a relationship, knowing you’re an actual person! Also, it’s handy to have a photo on your profile so it’s easier for people to identify you and then send you a request. When choosing a profile photo, make sure it’s professional and clearly shows your face – that means no Snapchat filters!

Whilst we’re on the subject of photos, you should also upload a cover photo to personalise your profile more. At itris, we supply a cover photo for everyone to use to promote the company which you may find your employer does as well. If not, a quick Google search or 10 minutes on Photoshop will find you something that matches your personal brand.

Your profile looks very empty

A lot of people are guilty of only filling out their name, job title and adding the very basics of their experience in their profiles which doesn’t look great! You should always fill out as much information as possible in your LinkedIn profile from your contact details to your achievements at previous jobs to your driving licence. Even if nobody is interested that you got a GCSE in media studies, it’s better than wasting the space and leaving it blank!

You don’t talk about your accomplishments

It’s great if you list your responsibilities and duties for each role under the experience section but what’s really great is if you write down what you’ve accomplished in each position. If you’ve succeeded in something or have an achievement to shout about then that’s the place to do it! You’ll find it’s the area that sets you apart from other candidates if you’re job hunting.

Your profile isn’t personal enough

It’s so easy for everyone to end up sounding very similar in their summaries (if they have one) talking about their current role or personality traits (hard-working, team player, motivated… You know the drill!) so why not mix it up a bit? Try and inject some of your personality into your profile, mention your hobbies and interests and you can even add in a few extra skills!

You’re not engaging with content

LinkedIn makes it so easy for you to engage with content from a variety of people whether you’re already connected with them or not. You only need to scroll through your newsfeed or click on a group to be introduced to a whole lot of statuses, polls, videos, images, infographics and debates so make sure you engage with them! Whether it’s a like or a quick comment to say you enjoyed reading someone’s article, it gets your name out there and shows you have an interest in that particular topic.

You don’t have many connections

Even though some members of the LinkedIn community make out that the number of connections you have is everything, it really isn’t. However, in order to make the most of the platform, you should connect with as many relevant people as possible. To begin with, you should make it your goal to reach 500 connections using your network of colleagues (past and present), classmates, friends, family and industrial professionals. Once you’ve hit 500, you’ll find it much easier to expand your network as you’ll have more 2nd and 3rd degree connections as well as more mutual connections with others in your industry.

You don’t have any recommendations

Asking for recommendations is one of the hardest and most awkward aspects of using LinkedIn but it can be so beneficial. They essentially justify and reinforce what you’ve already said about yourself but from someone else’s perspective and can be extremely valuable. Approaching someone for a recommendation can be daunting but it’s much easier if you ask people who you’ve built up a strong relationship with first. You can also encourage people to write you a recommendation by leaving them one first.

Whether you’re job seeking or not, keeping on top of your LinkedIn profile is something worth doing to avoid outdated, stale information being displayed. You should also remember that the purpose of LinkedIn is to enable professionals to network and build relationships and a huge part of that is down to people engaging with other’s content.