So you think it's ok to use LinkedIn like Facebook or Instagram?

So you think it's ok to use LinkedIn like Facebook or Instagram?

Think again..

LinkedIn is not only a useful tool for job seekers in recruitment terms, but it has also become a necessity for business and professional users, yet as a social media channel it’s easy to fall into some bad habits.

LinkedIn is a professional forum for the working world and some content that you might post on your Facebook page is not appropriate. You can be conversational, but keep the conversation focused on the professional.

LinkedIn is often the first port of call for anyone thinking of hiring you. Your profile needs to make a good impression and it should not be taken lightly. Unfortunately, there are many pitfalls that you can succumb to when putting a profile together or posting content and a small thing can make a lot of difference – here are some tips on what not to do.

Remember that it’s not a dating site
Profile pictures are important and you should pick one which makes you look professional and well-presented. However, posting pictures of yourself in swimwear, with a bunch of friends on a night out or on your skiing holiday is not appropriate for LinkedIn. Your picture is the first thing anyone looking at your profile sees and, if yours looks unprofessional, prospective employers will immediately switch off and click away.

This is not to say you can’t show a bit of personality in your profile picture, and you should by all means use one which shows you in your best light, but it must demonstrate that you are a competent, confident professional, rather than someone with a great tan who likes to drink blue lagoons.

Know your audience
Technically, LinkedIn is a social media site, but please note the use of the word technically. The platform is unique in that it uses the format, functionality and structure of a social media portal but targets a very different audience.

When people spend time on Facebook or Pinterest, they are looking to be entertained, amused or inspired. When people spend time on LinkedIn, they are in a completely different mode and are more often than not looking for something that can help them enhance their own career or achieve a specific goal.

This means that unusual content or anything that is not strictly to the point and providing necessary information is a useless (and annoying) distraction. What you may think are inspiring quotes or amusing asides on your profile page are very likely to turn off anyone who has taken the time to check you out, so you should make sure that everything you post is relevant and provides useful and insightful information about you and your expertise.

Keep it neutral
The above can make you look unprofessional, but if you really want to risk alienating prospective employers, the best way to do this is to clearly demonstrate your political or religious opinions. LinkedIn, as an extension of the work environment, is no place for politics or religion, and although discrimination on either ground is not allowed officially, if someone doesn’t agree with beliefs that you hold strongly they are that much less likely to hire you.

You can fall foul of this most easily in the ‘causes you care about’ and ‘organisations you support’ sections. Marking yourself down as a member of the Suffolk Society for Bird Conservation is probably fine, but anything relating to the Brighton & Hove Trotskyist Collective, Young Donald Trump Supporters of Reading or anything to do with God is not recommended.

For any more tips on how to make the best of your LinkedIn profile, contact Morgan Hunt’s recruitment specialists.

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