Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 16 seconds

How to Hinder Your LinkedIn Effectiveness

linkedinSince starting three LinkedIn Network Groups, I have seen users make many mistakes on this platform. These are mistakes that members frequently make in setting up their LinkedIn profile and utilizing it to its maximum benefit.

LinkedIn and LinkedIn groups can be extremely effective. Of the ones that I have started, the largest is the Sage Partners, Employees, Alumni and Analysts group with more than 7,500 members in more than 60 countries. The group was created with the idea of members sharing ideas about opinions on current Sage changes, events and general take on the Sage environment with each other. This group has become a daily reading staple for many of executives of Sage North America.

The most common mistakes were listed in a presentation I delivered recently at Sage Summit, Sage's Annual Partner and Customer Conference in Nashville. Here are some guidelines for not getting the most from LinkedIn.

No. 1. Never complete your LinkedIn profile. Don't open your professional profile to 175 million LinkedIn members worldwide. Don't list your accomplishments and certifications. Don't include your history, current position or core competencies. For mediocre results, keep your profile at less than 100 percent.

No. 2. Use The Ghost Avatar. Remaining anonymous. That can really help! Don't build any social media credibility.

No. 2a. Use a Cartoon as your Avatar. Make sure to show your pets and children's photos on LinkedIn. If you go to spring break every year and consume copious amounts of alcohol and lose your clothes, be sure to post plenty of photos.

No. 3. Don't Contribute to your LinkedIn Profile. Stay secretive about yourself and don't let anyone know who you are. Don't share your industry knowledge. Let others determine and shape your online brand.

No. 4. Don't Ask (Or Answer) LinkedIn Questions. By all means, keep your unique business acumen all to yourself. Don't become an expert in ANY industry; remain an enigma.

No. 5. Don't Invite Others to Your Network. Keep your network your own private domain. Reduce the number of your relevant connections (or just don't get them in the first place). The fewer connections you have will result in fewer search results that you'll appear in.

No. 6. Don't Give or Ask for Recommendations. Don't let your colleagues say anything positive about you. Remain an enigma in the virtual world. Don't send any recommendations to people you've worked with.

No. 7. Don't Include Any Current Contact Information. Make it impossible to contact you. Make people guess where you're currently working. Don't answer messages or LinkedIn invitations.

These are but a few of the mistakes that I see people making but they seem to be the ones that repeatedly show up. Remember that an intriguing and complete LinkedIn Profile will help you take the work out of networking.

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