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Job hunting: Five mistakes to avoid when using LinkedIn

If you use LinkedIn for job hunting, here are some mistakes that Inc.com columnist Tom Searcy warns against:

Only using it when you need a job

Keep your profile active and connections current, since appealing job offers can come when you're not looking as well.

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Allowing your profile to be incomplete

A scanty profile won't do you much good. Put in a full list of the companies you have worke d for and the results you have achieved. Also optimize your profile for searchers, using keywords that will help them find you with the right opportunity.

You're not in the right groups

Make sure you affiliate with your alumni group from your alma mater, as well as industry groups for your own company and major customer segments.

You're not extending connections

Constantly add and accept connections from people you know professionally or personally, rather than waiting until you decide you need to do that because you want to seek a new job. "I do not recommend trying to connect with people that you don't actually know," he stresses. "You want this to be your real professional network, so if someone says, 'Hey, I see you know Jim Smith,' you can say that you actually worked with him on a project at a previous company and not that you were just padding your connections number."

You're not using LinkedIn answers

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Answering queries from others on LinkedIn Answers gives you a chance to show your expertise.

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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