What Not To Do: LinkedIn Edition

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A quality LinkedIn profile is arguably just as useful as a great cover letter and resume. This is especially true if you’re looking to network and build your personal brand.

Yet many would-be hires are making simple LinkedIn mistakes without even realizing it!

Avoid all of that and prepare to impress future employers instead.

Here are some common LinkedIn DON’Ts and advice on how you can build your online presence.

No photo

Your profile photo is the first impression you offer your network – and a potential employer. It should be professional, of good quality, and close up.

A professional photo is always an asset, but a carefully-taken photo by a friend with some photography skills can easily provide great results.

Believe it or not, no prospective employer cares what your family, boyfriend, or pets look like, so make sure that you’re the only person in the frame.

This is one of the most important and underrated aspects of your LinkedIn profile and it’s one of the things many people get wrong.

The default no-photo is not an option.

A lackluster headline

Your profile needs a solid and engaging headline; it’s the first thing people see after your photo.

By default, your headline will appear as the title of your current position. Avoid this!

Think of the terms that future employers may be searching for when looking for someone with your skills. Do some research to get started!

Don’t try and write the perfect headline in one go – brainstorm ideas and write as many as you can before fine-tuning and making your decision.

Leaving out your responsibilities

Avoid only putting the position in which you worked, without any explanation of responsibilities. This is one of the most common errors that LinkedIn users make.

Experience is one of the most important parts of a LinkedIn profile, just like on a resume. Your profile should showcase everything you have done and identify the experience you gained while doing it.

Don’t assume that your job title indicates all of your responsibilities! Different job titles correspond to different roles, so it’s important to clearly provide an explanation for your reader.

Staying silent

Like any social media platform or networking resource, you need to invest time and energy in LinkedIn to see results.

While your employment information may not change on a regular basis, you should update your status and get involved on LinkedIn on a regular basis.

You can share valuable and interesting articles you read, comment in LinkedIn group discussions, and share your input on other people’s statuses.

This activity keeps you on the radar of those inside and outside of your network and builds your presence in other people’s newsfeeds.

Not building a network

All ready to go with your new and improved LinkedIn profile? Use it! Don’t wait around for people to connect with you.

Reach out to contacts in your personal network, relevant mutual connections, or even people in your industry that you’d like to get to know better.

Make sure that you are connecting with context, especially with people who you don’t necessarily know. Always include a message with your connection request explaining who you are and why you are interested in connecting.

If you make a promising connection, follow up with them right away to introduce yourself and thank them for connecting.

Are you following these simple steps on your LinkedIn profile? Is there something missing from this list? Share with us.

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About the author

Lauren Marinigh is a Sheridan College alumni from both the Advertising and Corporate Communication programs. She is currently working at Sheridan's Student Union in their Marketing department. Lauren is infatuated with everything social media & digital, follow her on Twitter: @MarinighPR