LinkedIn is a great tool for networking, researching and job seeking. It is becoming ever important to make sure that your profile is current and you are sharing appropriate content for your audience, whether it be for hiring managers or possible business contacts. Looking forward, as LinkedIn’s advertising model continues to improve, the channel is only going to grow in popularity and usefulness.
As the channel grows in users, it is important to distinguish your profile from others. Make sure that it is professional and a true representation of what you do. There are many different ways to organize your profile and experience, so make sure that your most current role is visible and obvious to someone who is browsing for the first time. For example, if you are the current Digital Marketing Manager for your company, your title should reflect this, as opposed to ‘Digital Marketing Guru in Chicago.’ Titles like these misrepresent what your current role is. Unless you are unemployed and searching for a new opportunity, your title or headline should reflect what you are currently doing.
So what are some other LinkedIn faux pas?
Commenting on or sharing spammy posts
I could go on and on about how irritating this practice is. Every day I scroll through my feed to see posts that are fit to be Facebook scams–yet they have hundreds of comments and likes! LinkedIn is not the place to solve math problems publicly or share inspirational quotes with a photo of a roaring lion. Not only is this unprofessional, but all of your connections (and more) can see that you contributed to this. It pops up on connections’ news feeds and they also can see how silly you are.
Not having a photo or having an inappropriate photo
Your LinkedIn profile is not your resume. Your LinkedIn profile should actually work as more than a resume for you. It is a social network that allows you to showcase your experience and your accomplishments. It is a happy medium between your formal resume (which hopefully does not include any photos) and your Facebook (which probably showcases too many photos). Use a simple and professional headshot for your LinkedIn profile. It takes 30 seconds to upload a photo and it makes a huge difference in how others view you on LinkedIn.
You should NEVER post a photo that has alcohol in it. This also goes for any vacation photos, group photos (how are we supposed to know who you are?) and any obviously cropped photos. It is not professional to have a photo with the top of someone else’s head in it while you are squished in next to another someone’s elbow. Just your face. That’s it.
Connecting with no prior introduction
Lastly, although LinkedIn is for networking, this does not mean you should go around connecting to others if you do not know them. If you think you know someone through a friend, have that friend connect you on LinkedIn. If you are applying to a job, apply to that job. Don’t connect to the poster of the job if you have absolutely no prior relationship with them. It is very obvious when someone you do not know tries to connect with you- it is intrusive and you are less likely to accept the request. Set yourself up for success and don’t attempt to connect with random people.
What is the biggest blunder you have seen on LinkedIn? Share in the comments below.