These days, it’s hard to run into someone who doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile. I use the site all the time to search for people in my profession and stay on top of industry developments. I usually spend at least a couple of hours a week scrolling through LinkedIn, and in doing so, have come across some mistakes that really make me want to scream. Below are some things you should NOT be doing on LinkedIn if you want to get the most out of the site.
Not Having a Professional Profile Picture
While LinkedIn is a social media site, you are using it for professional purposes, so your profile picture shouldn’t look like the ones on your other social media platforms. Invest in a professional head shot or take a photo against a clean background wearing professional clothing. I can’t tell you how many profile pictures I’ve seen of girls who look like they came straight out of the club. It’s not a good look. Don’t be that girl.
Not Sending a Personal Invitation to Connect
I get numerous invitations to connect every week, and most of the time they’re from people I don’t know. Because most of them don’t take the time to include a personal note, I never know why they want to connect with me. Are they trying to get a peek at my other connections? Do they want to work at my company? Are they just bored? If you’re serious about forging real connections, you should always include a short note introducing yourself and letting the other person know why you’re interested in connecting.
Using your LinkedIn Like it’s Facebook
Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn is not the place to go when you want to update everyone on the ins and outs of your day. This is not where you want to share that you just bought a new car or post pictures of your kids. While professional development articles and industry news is always welcome, updates about your personal life are best left elsewhere. The same is true of most memes and videos. If it doesn’t relate to work in some way, don’t post it on LinkedIn.
Not Filling Out Your Profile
I always wonder about the people who have empty LinkedIn profiles. What’s the point of having a page if you’re not going to include any information on it? One of the great values of LinkedIn is that you can find people who have certain skill sets and professional backgrounds. If you’re not giving people insight into what you do, you’re not giving them a reason to connect, and you’re unlikely to grow your network beyond people you already know.
Engaging in Over the Top Bragging
Most social media platforms are built for bragging, and LinkedIn is no different. Definitely feel free to share awards you’ve won, speaking engagements you’ve got coming up, or promotions you’ve earned. But, if every one of your posts is dedicated to praising yourself, don’t be surprised if people start blocking your content. Use your best judgment when self-promoting and diversify your posts so they’re not all about how wonderful you are – even if you are the MOST wonderful, which, of course, you are.
What are some of your LinkedIn pet peeves?