LinkedIn is one of the largest networking platforms and currently has about 90% of recruiters using it as a way to find talent. In other words, if you’re hoping to land a new job soon, you need to be on LinkedIn.
However, not everyone is as well-versed in LinkedIn as they may be on other social networking platforms. To help you learn to navigate this networking site, we’ve put together our list of 10 do’s and don’ts for learning your way around LinkedIn.
Don’t use an unprofessional photo as a profile picture
This tip is always discussed regarding LinkedIn. While it may seem obvious, you’d be surprised by how many people use unprofessional photos as their profile pictures! Your LinkedIn profile picture should be professional and welcoming. It’s one of the first things recruiters see when they find your page. For help on choosing a LinkedIn profile picture, read our article here.
Don’t forget to send an introductory message
When you’re sending a connection invite, you should always send an introductory message along with it unless they are a close personal connection. When sending a connection invite, you are only given around 300 characters to write an introductory message. While 300 seems a lot, those numbers dwindle down fast.
When drafting your message, be sure to make it friendly while also providing a bit of context as to why you would like to connect. When you send introductory messages along with your connection request, you’re more likely to receive a positive response.
Don’t add irrelevant skills to your profile
We’re sure you have a wonderful smile, but “smiling” isn’t a skill that is needed on your profile. On that line of thinking, “friendly” isn’t a necessary skill to list either. While you may think, “well these are great attributes for someone working in customer service” you’d be correct. However, these skills on your profile won’t help you land in the highest percentiles of applicants applying through LinkedIn.
That space needs to be used for more desirable skills such as public speaking, customer service, project management, etc. Whatever skills are most necessary for your current or desired roles are the skills you should showcase. If you’re stumped, we recommend looking at profiles of those in your network to see what skills they feature on their profiles.
Don’t wait for connections to come to you
Networking and building relationships on LinkedIn is a two-way street. However, those who hesitate to act are less likely to get what they want. Don’t sit around and wait for the connections to start rolling in. Take initiative and start sending out connection requests. For more on how to build relationships on LinkedIn, you should read this article.
Do use a custom URL
Customizing a LinkedIn URL is a great way to help your account stand apart from the sea of other profiles. LinkedIn.com/in/janedoe122-3qep45/ is almost impossible to distinguish from LinkedIn.com/in/janedoe122-3q3543/. Right? Not only that, but it also looks much more professional when it appears on your resume.
Do include a relevant banner photo
A banner photo isn’t necessarily going to make or break how a recruiter feels about your profile. However, it is a necessary step in completing your profile. A complete profile shows care and attention to detail, and it can also show a bit of your personality and where your interests lie.
When deciding on a banner photo, we recommend trying to choose a photo that is related to your desired roles or industries. Much like your profile picture, be sure to ensure it is professional.
Do share and create content
One of the most important aspects of LinkedIn is that you can share any original content you create. It allows you to showcase your skills and share your expertise with your network. If you don’t actively create your own content, you can also share and interact with the content on your feed, which is another great method for building your network. That leads us to our next point…
Do network with those you may not personally know
With COVID-19 safety protocols, it can be a bit difficult to meet people in-person. Instead, LinkedIn offers you the opportunity to network with hundreds of professionals within your industry online, so don’t be afraid to connect with those you may now know!
LinkedIn is actually the perfect platform to meet other professionals. While virtual career fairs are also great options, LinkedIn is less formal and less stress-inducing. As mentioned before, it is imperative that you send a short introductory message along with that invite.
Bonus tip: Do connect with our team on LinkedIn
If you enjoyed this article, we post a ton of similar content on our BrandResumes LinkedIn profile. You can also connect with our team members on LinkedIn to see their content as well. Our team is dedicated to helping job seekers land their dream roles. For more tips, connect with us on LinkedIn and continue checking in for new articles every week. We also offer LinkedIn development services to help get you started. Good lu