Your LinkedIn profile could be under scrutiny by potential employers at any given moment. Whether you’ve just applied for a job and an employer is digging for dirt, or one of your clients is having a browse, there’s always someone watching. And thanks to the private browsing mode, you may never be aware they were even on your profile.
So, of course, it’s essential to not treat your LinkedIn as a social media profile.
Martin Bate is the Head of Permanent Recruitment at Orion, experts in specialist recruitment for life-science jobs, and has discussed the importance of a professional LinkedIn profile.
“During the past two years, we have all experienced a shift in culture in the way we work as well as a change in the way we attract talent. While some people are regular users of common social media outlets, you don’t need to a be technophile to create an attractive brand for yourself on LinkedIn.
“In the past, the resume was everything. Nowadays, it is becoming less important, making the LinkedIn profile the main source. Additionally, our team are regularly arranging interviews based solely on LinkedIn profiles. Next time you search for an applicant or apply for a role, reflect on the effectiveness and professionalism of your profile. It doesn’t need to be war and peace, but get the relevant buzz words in your content, not forgetting to keep them updated and relevant to your skills, knowledge, and sector.”
Here, we delve into the dos and don’ts of LinkedIn, and what might be better kept on your Facebook profile.
Don’t fall victim to oversharing
LinkedIn provides many ways to discover and converse with many people within your field. But are you oversharing on the platform?
It’s an easy way to make contacts, but it can be even easier to make enemies. Debates can often be sparked over many topics, such as company policies and even politics. Of course, many people have different views and discussing such things can get very heated. In some cases, you might see angry comments come your way. And you’re speaking for your employer as well as yourself, so oversharing on sensitive topics could also direct anger towards them.
Do choose an appropriate picture
Your LinkedIn profile picture is arguably the first element of your profile that will be seen. Perhaps you’re appearing in searches, or someone is browsing employees within your company. Regardless of the reason, it’s sure to stand out. In this instance, it’s a must to have an appropriate and professional picture, one that you most likely wouldn’t choose for your social media profiles. Opt for a photo where your face takes up approximately 60% of the photo but be sure that your striking suit is on show – especially if this is your workday attire of choice.
Don’t forget to keep communication flowing
You may enjoy sharing posts on social media, but if you’re not an avid Instagram user, it can be easy to reply to comments and messages late, or even to completely forget about them. On LinkedIn, it’s important that you don’t fall into this habit. Connections are highly important on the platform, especially in online professional networks. So if you aren’t keeping the ball rolling by forming relationships, you won’t be able to reap the benefits. Commenting and connecting with others from across the globe could offer you endless opportunities.
Do share your successes
Sharing your accomplishments is something you can share on both LinkedIn and your Facebook or Instagram page. After all, it’s a platform to raise your profile and showcase the many the development of your skills and the achievements you have made. It could be a new job, a promotion, or starting a new chapter in a different city — but whatever success comes your way will undoubtedly be celebrated by Linkedin users.
Don’t waste your network’s time
You may resort to Facebook to post regular updates on your week, whether that’s where you went for your lunch or how your weekend away went. But this is something to keep on Facebook. While you may want to talk about the good times you’ve had, you must think before you post on LinkedIn. Is it relevant to the working world? Will this boost your business profile? Not only could it be an irrelevant post that people will simply scroll past with no interaction, but it could also annoy some of your connections. People don’t want their time wasted, so if your content is only Facebook-worthy, people may remove you from their network and it could cause you to miss out on opportunities in the future that would enhance your career.
Do keep your profile public
Your personal life is something you may want to keep hidden when it comes to your social media profiles. However, you should keep your LinkedIn profile public. The platform isn’t one for sharing anything personal, but for details that you do wish to be hidden, there are settings to hide this information. There are countless people who can boost your career, but if your profile isn’t visible to them, they won’t be able to discover you. Since your social media is far more likely to include personal information, it’s better to keep private mode on these profiles.
It's important to separate your LinkedIn from social media platforms. By slipping into the habits that you might be used to on Facebook and Instagram, you may jeopardise your employability and reduce the likelihood of climbing the career ladder. But these simple dos and don’ts can help you boost your online presence on LinkedIn and avoid any trouble.