As a follow-up to our popular post, Clean up Your Online Profile, we have created a blog series about cleaning up online profiles. Today’s post focuses on cleaning up your LinkedIn so that you will achieve effective:
Make sure that your photo is professional. LinkedIn is a network for professionals, so pictures of you in unprofessional clothing or unflattering poses should not be used.
Avoid negative comments about your job situation. If currently employed, you will permanently damage your relationship with your current employer by posting that you are unsatisfied with your job. You never know when you will end up working with a former colleague again, so it is best to keep these relationships in good standing. Even if you are not employed, complaining about the job market or past work experiences will cause profile viewers to think that you have an attitude problem.
Be mindful of who you connect with. While on Facebook it is tempting to “friend” everyone you have ever come in contact with, that tactic is not a good idea on LinkedIn. Your connections reflect on you, so while adding former colleagues can add legitimacy to a position or internship you once held, adding your favorite bartender or a former colleague that has bad things to say about you will not end well.
Keep your profile updated. Most hiring managers, upon receiving your resume, will check to see if you have a LinkedIn profile. If they come across your profile and find that your “Experience” section is much different than what you have included in your resume or cover letter, they will question your credibility and immediately eliminate you from consideration.
Avoid spelling/grammar errors. Sloppy writing will reflect poorly on a candidate, so you should clean up any spelling or grammatical mistakes within your profile.
According to a study by HubSpot, LinkedIn generates the highest B2B visitor-to-lead conversion rate of any social networking website, producing a rate 4x higher than that of Twitter and 7x higher than that of Facebook. Therefore it is important for professionals to maintain a professional LinkedIn reputation. This is accomplished when you:
Avoid spamming groups. Groups are a great way to connect with professionals in your field. However, professionals will form a negative impression of you if the only things you post are links to your company’s website.
Only link to professional websites. LinkedIn gives you a chance to add a URL to your profile. It is okay to link to a personal portfolio, or your employee profile from your company’s website, but do not link to a Facebook profile filled with unprofessional photos.
Do not link every Tweet. Linking your account with Twitter is an effortless way to simultaneously share interesting blog posts (like this one!) with your followers and connections, but shouldn’t be used to share the vulgar rap lyrics you just tweeted because they were stuck in your head.
Avoid spelling/grammar errors. Just as they do for job seekers, spelling and grammatical errors reflect poorly on an individual.
Once you post negative comments about past employers, or post spam in groups, those comments will live on for eternity whenever someone Googles you. For help removing these items from search engine results, or to learn more about how to clean up your LinkedIn profile, you should take a look at our online privacy products or contact us for other online reputation management.