LinkedIn Dos and Don'ts

Dec. 5, 2013
I am reminded (almost) daily that candidates sometimes just don’t “get it” when it comes to the lack of content in candidate profiles and photos they choose to post on LinkedIn.
I am reminded (almost) daily that candidates sometimes just don’t “get it” when it comes to the lack of content in candidate profiles and photos they choose to post on LinkedIn. LinkedIn, after all, is the leading worldwide business tool designed as a networking platform so you can connect with other professionals in your industry niche.

Unlike Facebook or Twitter (both excellent social media platforms), LinkedIn is designed to connect people both known and unknown based on the connections they build in their LI profiles. Last month 141 million people logged on to the LinkedIn site (many looking for top-shelf talent) – and that’s only part of the story. With 225 million users it has become the top digital repository of resumes on the planet. I think about the power of LinkedIn as a networking tool and then run across profiles that baffle me beyond words.

Here are a few tips on getting your LinkedIn photo and profile ready for primetime:


-        I’ve seen photos of candidates taken on the beach in a bathing suit – never good.   

-        A picture of a photograph screams you don’t know anything about computers. Ouch!

-        Photos taken in a bar consuming adult beverages just send the wrong message. Period.

-        Colorful Avatars, while cute, have no place in a LinkedIn profile unless you are in the arts.

-        Photos of you kissing your significant other are in poor taste as your profile photo. Just bad.

-        I love my kids too – but a photo with your children is probably not ideal for a LinkedIn profile.

-        Poorly taken photos look bad and demonstrate the wrong message. It’s easy to take a great PIC!

-        No photo is actually better than any of the examples above. A photo puts a face with a name.

-        Posting a photo of yourself taken 20 years ago is both disingenuous and awkward. 


-        Join Groups that are relevant to your skills and occupation. You can join up to 50 groups on LI.

-        Always join your ALUM as it’s a great way to network.

-        Get recommendations from people you’ve worked with. No recommendations send the wrong message.

-         Having a solid number of contacts you are connected to matters. It’s great for networking and shows you are well connected in your space.

-        Having contact information visible is important if you want people to know how to reach you directly.

-        Endorsements are also a great way to showcase your skills – make sure you have endorsements in multiple categories. It helps to tell your story.

-        List any publications that have been published by you or articles where you were quoted.

-        Understand the power of the advanced search tool to find people and companies to connect with. It’s a very powerful feature.  

-        If you write a BLOG make sure it’s posted on LI as it increases your brand to everyone in your network.

LinkedIn can be a wonderful way to make sure you are truly connected in your niche. On the other hand if you have little to no content, don’t use its vast array of features and elect not to remove that photo taken on the beach at the beer bash – maybe not so much.   

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