1. It's Too Easy to Use
User-friendly is the way to go if you're trying to attract and engage a ton of people on your website. This is one of the things LinkedIn® does really well. If you've been on LinkedIn® from the beginning you'll know that now, more than ever, the profile set-up is as simple as a few clicks. However, this can be a double-edged sword if you're one of those people who just fills in a few lines in order to achieve quick profile set-up. The same goes for you if have not tweaked your profile to your target new brand, with each career move.
While it may be easy to click the "save" button and walk away, it's worth spending some time knowing exactly what is needed to be optimized on LinkedIn® instead of breezing through and potentially missing some key tricks of the LinkedIn® trade like SEO, keywords and brand positioning.
2. It's Distracting
LinkedIn® also does a great job of providing a lot of interesting information such as content & stats (profile views, profile rank, etc.) – all of which are very interesting. However, when it comes to your job search, this extra information may serve to be more of a distraction or time waster than anything else. It's one thing to use information and data to find new job opening leads, but it's definitely another to dwell on who and how many people viewed your profile. The latter will not make a bit of difference in your job search. Make a point of doing what you are there to do and then leave to focus on the next task from your job search "to do" list.
3. You're a Victim of Inertia
Internet surfing across multiple tabs and devices at once has become par for the course, making each one of us suspectible to constant distraction. I can not tell you how many times I've been on LinkedIn® for a specific purpose but then drawn away by someone's profile or post instead of accomplishing what I set out to do. This makes strategy even more important. Set aside time to do your LinkedIn® stalking and stat checking outside of your dedicated LinkedIn® job search / networking time to avoid any unnecessary time wasters.
4. You Do not Have a Strategy
Inertia and distractions are 2 strikes against you if you do not have a solid strategy in place for your job search. Since LinkedIn® exists for a number of different purposes within one's career management, it's important to nail down exactly why you are there and what you hope to achieve before each visit. In the job search you'll want to decide if you are going there for networking, research, application submission or to generate industry visibility. Really know why you are there and stick to your plan of attack. This will have you producing more results than aimlessly wandering and hoping to land on the right opportunity or contact.
5. You Do not Get How LinkedIn® Ranks You
LinkedIn® exists for two purposes: to find and to be found (think Google). Being found is just as important as having the right strategy for finding new contacts or jobs, especially among the 300 million other people. However most people unknowingly miss this critical part of career management strategy. LinkedIn® takes into account your 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections as well as any common factors (like groups) when returning your profile in search results. Therefore it's to your benefit to be connecting to as many people as possible (even strangers)!
6. You Do not Understand SEO
I can not talk about being found online without touching on SEO (search engine optimization). Think of LinkedIn® as your own mini-website. It's valuable real estate and it should be treated accordingly. If you're hiring to be found for a new job, this is one area you should be reliably familiar with so you can apply the correct strategies for appearing in more searches. This will help your job search work double-time.
7. You Do not Understand Keyword Basics
Similar to SEO, you have no chance at being successful online without knowing keyword basics. When you're searching for anything online, your results will only be as good as the keywords you type into the search bar. Same goes for being found. If you want to be found, you must be thinking in terms of what your target audience might be typing into the search bar to find you. Find a way to incorporate all of these words into your profile.