The Dos and Don’ts of LinkedIn

When it comes to professional networking, LinkedIn is a great way to connect and job search. In fact, recent statistics show that LinkedIn has over 500 million users and 3 million active job listings, making it a powerful tool to showcase your accomplishments to find a job or to promote career growth.

However, just like any tool, if you don’t use it properly it can be damaging to you. So here are a few tips on how to use LinkedIn successfully.

Do fill out your complete profile. Having a complete profile, as well as a picture, makes it more likely that a hiring manager will contact you or that someone will request to connect with you. Take the time to fill out all of the profile sections. Write respectfully, but in a way that lets your readers connect with you.

Don’t just copy and paste your resume. When filling out your profile, don’t copy and paste your resume. This makes your profile seem dry and it’s also hard to read. Instead, use your profile to show your personality. Pick some of your top accomplishments and include them, along with measurable results, in your profile summary. If you have examples to show, you can also upload files and media to your LinkedIn profile.

(You can find more tips on how to update your resume and LinkedIn profile in our free download, 6 Steps to Jumpstart Your Job Search.)

Do make new connections. Use LinkedIn to reach out to clients, colleagues, and others in your industry that you already know. We also recommend scheduling some time each week to keep in touch with connections that you don’t see regularly and trying to connect with 1-2 new people each month.

Don’t just connect with everyone. Don’t connect with someone just because LinkedIn suggests it or for the sake of growing your number of connections. LinkedIn isn’t meant to be used as a popularity game, like other social media networks. Instead, it’s about connecting with people you actually want to get to know. This could be someone you admire in your industry, someone who has reached their career goals at an early age, someone who has the job you are interested in. Then, when connecting, send a personalized message letting the person know why you would like to connect with them. This personal touch will help your new relationship get off on the right foot.

Do share what you know with your network. Share your wealth of knowledge with your connections by writing opinion pieces, by sharing helpful articles, or by accepting mentoring requests.

Don’t be overwhelming (or get overwhelmed)! Don’t overshare, less is actually more! A well thought out opinion along with an in-depth article on a topic your network is interested in goes further than sharing fluffy articles just to say you’re active on LinkedIn. Also, don’t get too consumed with your online network. Schedule a healthy amount of time each week to spend on LinkedIn that works for your needs, family life, and career goals.

Need more help with your LinkedIn profile? Check out our LinkedIn package details here.