headdeskSome people mistakenly assume LinkedIn requires minimum setup while they sit back and wait for recruiters to contact them. Others wrongly assume they’ve got LinkedIn in the bag. They’ve got everything filled out and a great photo, but they’re still hearing crickets.

The reality is that LinkedIn takes a bit more effort for it to be really effective for the job hunt. Below you’ll find some LinkedIn mistakes you probably didn’t know you were making (and how to avoid them).


Mass Mailing Everyone In Your Network

If you’re going to be sending messages to individuals on LinkedIn, it’s in your best interest to customize them to each person. There is nothing more annoying than receiving a message on LinkedIn that was clearly sent to anyone and everyone in hopes of getting a bite.

If you think people can’t tell, you’re wrong. In the world of email marketing, most people can tell a cut-and-paste email from a sincere message in no time. (Click here to tweet this thought.)

Bottom line: don’t spam people’s inboxes. Also, don’t spam LinkedIn groups.


Only Doing the Minimum Setup

It’s not enough to do the bare minimum setup on LinkedIn. Job titles and descriptions require effort as you build an online brand, convey what is you actually do by using verbs and learn how to use keywords so you show up in search results.

Furthermore, you must learn how to actually participate in the social network through groups and forums. Showing recruiters you’re active lets them know there’s an actual person behind the profile.

(Hint: You can check out our LinkedIn Profile Checklist to make sure you’ve covered all your bases.)


Not Using Keywords

If you don’t use keywords, recruiters are going to have a very difficult time trying to find you.

Keywords, essentially, are search terms recruiters typically use when looking for a particular candidate. Learning how to use keywords effectively will help you show up at the top of search results.


Using Too Many Keywords

Many people understand that keywords are necessary; however, they don’t know how to use them properly. As a result, you often find profiles that don’t seem to make sense or have the same term stuffed in there a hundred times.

When you use keywords, you’re essentially writing for a machine (in this case, the search engine), but an actual human will be reading your profile. And they can tell whether you stuffed in keywords just to show up in the search results.

You also don’t want to make the mistake of having a completely incoherent profile because you were too busy trying to figure out how many keywords you could squeeze in there.

Finally, search engines can also tell whether you’re keyword-stuffing and may even put you at the end of search results for doing so. The more developers catch on to these practices, the more they try to even out the playing field by penalizing individuals who try to work the system.

The main point is this: while there is a necessity for keywords, there is also such a thing as using them too liberally.

What other LinkedIn mistakes have you seen people make? Let us know in the comments!

This post originally appeared on Chameleon Resumes.

Image: Flickr