What NOT to Do on LinkedIn

For most of us social media is a regular part of daily modern life. And most of us are on LinkedIn, the largest professional social network with over 380 million members world-wide. It’s the go-to source for recruiters and hiring managers looking to learn more about candidates. It’s also a frequent tool for professionals looking to connect with like minds, build their networks, and promote their qualifications.

Considering it’s pervasiveness in the present business environment, it’s somewhat shocking how many blunders, faux pas, and general DONT’S occur there everyday.

Don’t be one of “those people” on LinkedIn! Follow our tips and preserve your professional reputation to your colleagues, professional connections, and potential future employers.

Don’t Treat It Like Facebook

It’s not. Yes, LinkedIn is a social media site, but the emphasis is on professional. This is not the place to post political views, family updates, or vacation photos.

Don’t Send Inappropriate Messages

Again, keep it professional. Ask yourself, would I be OK with my boss seeing this? A hiring manager for a job I’m after? My spouse or significant other? Don’t hit on people — it’s not Tinder! (Does that really need to be said in this day and age? Apparently it does)

Don’t Use a Bad Profile Picture

Use a photo reflecting you as a professional: no kids, no spouses, no pets. Don’t use a picture from 20 years ago (instead of reading about your professional accomplishments, people will be distracted trying to figure out how old you really are). Be professionally attired. Head shots are best. It should be visually clear and — if not actually taken by a professional — at least look like it was.

Don’t Ignore Messages

Of course there will be some spam or messages that aren’t in your area of interest. But LinkedIn messaging is also the way recruiters make contact, potential clients reach out, and other professionals try to connect. Review your messages regularly so you don’t miss something important.

Don’t Be Passive

Using LinkedIn effectively can be a big part of your networking and career advancement efforts. Engage by keeping your profile up to date, update your status, comment on relevant posts from other professionals, and post useful information yourself.

But… Don’t Spam

Don’t just post for the sake of posting. LinkedIn isn’t about quantity — it’s about quality and relevance. Add value to discussions and people in your network will to be interested in hearing what you have to say.

LinkedIn is an essential tool for collecting information about your field, networking with others, and highlighting your professional value. Follow our tips for success to make the most of it. Additionally, Merrfeld Resumes and Consulting offers a Resume and LinkedIn critique for those of you who know what you’re doing but need someone to show you where to punch it up a bit. We’ll tell you what we would change and provide guidance on how to determine what information to include. We’ll suggest changes and updates and get your LinkedIn profile noticed by your peers — AND potential employers!

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