LinkedIn is not an online dating site. It’s not a place for you to share your feelings. It’s not your opportunity to let everyone know the day to day things that have happened to you personally or professionally. In short, don’t treat LinkedIn like Facebook.
LinkedIn is a networking site for business professionals, and as a hub for professionals it is governed by a different set of unspoken rules than the ones you’ll find on social networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The “Do Nots” of LinkedIn:
What you share matters. LinkedIn will quite likely be a tool that you use in your job search process. That means that you have to consider what potential employers see when they connect with you or visit your LinkedIn Page. The following are several mistakes you should avoid if you’re hoping to use your LinkedIn as a professional network.
Stalking LinkedIn Profiles
The “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” space can be a great way to see if you’re appealing to anyone professionally. But when you make your own profile visible, it can also be a great way to lose out on a potential job. If you visit a profile more than once or twice, you start to look desperate and you could turn off an employer.
WHAT TO DO: In your Account Settings, visit “Privacy Controls” and consider going totally anonymous. There are few professional reasons to notify others when you visit their page.
Showing Your #Selfie Side
Employers are going to be judging you on everything they can, and in some cases they may judge you on your photo choice. Your photos should be as professional as your profile. Avoid any “Selfies,” any photos you took with your friends that you cropped yourself out of, any photos in casual clothing, etc. You should either have a professional photo or no photo at all.
WHAT TO DO: Delete your current photo. See if someone you know has a nice camera. Dress in the type of clothing your employer will see at the interview and have someone take a professional photo of your face. You SHOULD have a photo, but you also do not want a photo that will turn people off before they read the rest of your profile.
Using Impersonal Requests
When you’re trying to reach out to people professionally, it’s important to show them you care. Avoid the standard LinkedIn emails that are created when you create a business connection. Personalize everything, so that all of your connections feel that you want to be networked with them.
WHAT TO DO: Write a personalized message that includes personal but professional details like “I enjoyed working with you on project X…” or “Remember when we both worked in office Y…” If possible consider trying to engage them in a conversation before they have even viewed your profile, by asking them a question that will encourage a good answer.
Creating a LinkedIn That Impresses
LinkedIn is an important tool for both employers and applicants, and the more important it becomes the more you have to pay attention to how you interact with your LinkedIn account. Run your LinkedIn profile as if you’re about to interviewed for your dream job and you’ll be far more likely to attract the right kind of attention.
COMMENT: Do you have any other LinkedIn Mistakes you think others should avoid?