Stop treating LinkedIn like Facebook

LinkedIn and FB

LinkedIn works, or rather LinkedIn works if you know how to use it properly. Yes, it requires a lot of time. Yes, not everyone is actively engaged in LinkedIn and yes, there are privacy concerns. But the reality is – recruiters view this tool as one of their top tools to find talent. If you are that top talent, LinkedIn is a pretty useful place to be found.

So, when I go on LinkedIn and I’m faced with a barrage of unprofessional conduct, it makes me cringe. For LinkedIn to work, you need to stop treating LinkedIn like Facebook. In no particular order:

Profile Pictures

  • Don’t post a half naked picture of yourself.
  • Don’t have a profile picture that has you as cute as pie, or posed as a sex god, or goddess.
  • Don’t have a picture of your pet dog, or cat.
  • Don’t have a picture of yourself surrounded by your family.

By all means, post these wonderful pictures of yourself on Facebook. Just keep in mind, that unless your Facebook is locked down into private mode, recruiters and headhunters will also see these pictures of you, as most recruiters and employers will be checking your social media profiles. A family picture is entirely appropriate on Facebook.  It is not appropriate on LinkedIn.  Keep the profile picture professional!

Keep your politics and opinions to yourself

Post Trump election, I’ve seen a lot of political commentary posted via LinkedIn. Yes, political opinions were out there on LinkedIn before the Trump phenomenon, but not to the extent that I’m currently seeing online.

No matter how you feel about politics, whether Liberal, National, Conservative, Republican, Socialist, Libertarian, Centre Right, Centre Left, One Nation or the Sex Party, keep ALL opinions and articles relating to politics away from LinkedIn. And while I’m talking about things to keep off LinkedIn, also avoid nationalism, racism, religion and personal information.

Things are so polarised at the moment, that people are attaching emotion to their perspective and have become almost incapable of seeing any virtues in the opposing position, or any fault with their own position.  As a result, you risk alienating people and putting off recruiters and employers. Political discussions tend to become heated and are not providing solutions.

Now, I’m not saying that you should not express an opinion on politics. Go ahead, feel as superior as you like, make negative stereotypes about the other side, view others as bad, if they don’t agree with you. Just don’t express an opinion on politics on LinkedIn.

Don’t post content that does not add REAL value to your connections

If you share an update, or write an article, make sure the content is valuable to your audience. LinkedIn is not the place to share trivia, cute pictures of animals, jokes and gifs. Leave that to Facebook, as Facebook was designed to remove you from the mundane.

LinkedIn is the place you build a profile demonstrating your knowledge and expertise. Write articles and post other people’s articles that show recruiters and employers that you are at the top of your game, or demonstrate your success within your career. This is all about your professional life, not personal life.

If you have not got anything constructive or nice to say – keep your lips zipped.

I’ve lost count the number of responses I see to articles that are snarky, rude or demean the author.

It is old fashioned, but unless you have something constructive or nice to say – zip it and don’t say anything. Even if you think your right and the author is a total jerk, DON’T respond. LinkedIn is not the forum to respond with negativity. The reality is your response, no matter how right you think you are, is less than professional.

Stop treating it as a dating site

When a women asks her opinion, she does not need to be told how attractive she is, or that her eyes sparkle. Nor does she need to be propositioned via messages. Likewise as a woman, please don’t flirt, or post a picture of yourself in a bikini (yes, I’ve seen all of this).  This is not a dating site, no matter how attractive the person is.

Remember, LinkedIn is a professional forum that connects professionals with other professionals, businesses, along with employers and recruiters. It is not a personal social media site. So keep it professional ALWAYS!

Other Resources you might find Useful

The 4 Traps you need to be aware of using LinkedIn 

3 Quick Fixes on LinkedIn that could triple your success

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