I’d be lying if I said I didn’t spend a lot of time on LinkedIn each week. LinkedIn is an amazing tool to connect to others professionally. It’s even how I landed my current job! But by spending so much time on this social media platform, I’m witness to many LinkedIn “Don’ts”. These are a few of the things I see happen most often, that you should try to avoid:
1. Just Don’t Do It
LinkedIn endorsements are a great way to be recommended for a particular skill-set. It is definitely the most powerful (and fastest) way for your managers, peers and clients to showcase your work assets. That being said, just because you can endorse, doesn’t mean that you should.
Perhaps one of my biggest pet peeves is this: when connections endorse me for a skill, but they in fact have no way of knowing I’m actually any good at it. How does “Bob”, from that internship I had three years ago, know that I have real knowledge of Photoshop CS5? He doesn’t, because that is knowledge I received post internship. And while I’d like to say it’s the thought that counts, it really isn’t and instead just devalues the power of the endorsement. Before you ever endorse someone, ask yourself if you have experienced this person’s skill first-hand. If you have, great, endorse away! If not, just don’t do it.
2. Less Is More
Another endorsement faux pas I see is that of bulk endorsing. It’s true that LinkedIn likes to prompt you to endorse your connections, especially those who have already endorsed you. But like I mentioned before, just because you can endorse someone for ten skills they have listed, doesn’t mean that you should. I personally believe that it says a lot more to have a few meaningful and well-deserved endorsements than having hundreds of them, from a single person. It’s kind of the same idea when one of your Facebook friends goes through and likes every single one of your pictures, in one sitting. Just remember, less is more!
3. Your Profile
I think that one of the biggest mistakes users can make on LinkedIn is not actively updating their profile and information. You have to look at LinkedIn as a living breathing resume; It’s not something you create once and then forget about (or at least it shouldn’t be). Keep your summary, work experience, skills, and even photo, current. You never know who might come across your profile and you will want it to reflect the professional that you are today.
4. It’s A Community
You should also:
- Make regular status updates
- Create new connections
- Share worth-while articles
- Participate in group discussions
- Doing all of these things will make you relevant, and it will keep you on the forefront of people’s news feeds and in the forefront of their minds. This is something I myself have trouble keeping up with, but I’ve found that when I routinely do these things, the feedback I get is pretty amazing.
When it comes to LinkedIn, it’s important to remember that if you never use it, you won’t have any sort of online presence. If you use it too much, or incorrectly, you run the risk of your followers tuning you out or disconnecting completely. Just remember these few “Don’ts” to avoid and you’ll see that using LinkedIn can be fun and extremely profitable for your professional career!