Updated April 26, 2023
LinkedIn is a professional channel connecting professionals across the world to make them more productive and facilitate hiring and career progress. People update their profiles with their skills and resumes to enhance their professional connections and contacts. It helps them to reach out to a number of people and also to get better job opportunities for themselves.
LinkedIn started in December 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003. It was founded by Reid Hoffman and his team members, the great team from Paypal and in collaboration with Social.net. In late 2003, later investments were made by Sequoia Capital, which is an investment company. Later in June 2008, it was purchased by Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, and other venture capital firms. They purchased a 5% stake for $53 million. The idea behind this was a professional site to help people job searching and recruiting best talents from across the world.
Being Professional is the word! Professionalism defines your attitude and etiquette towards work. The work you put up defines the type of person you are. It defines you and your character. Be alert! Sometimes while updating and upgrading our profiles, we make some very generic mistakes that can mislead us. Being a social networking site for professionals, it predefines some basic set of etiquette one must follow.
Here we list down some embarrassing mistakes
- We sometimes do not accept requests of people we might have known in a meeting or might be a stranger: This is when we do not respond to a stranger’s request to connect, just because of lack of clarity. Be humble, take some time, visit his profile, recollect, and maybe just drop out a message to know each other better before connecting professionally. This might be humble feedback to someone willing to connect with you. Be humble! Might be the person was just seeking your help in earning a living. Maybe he was in need of some earning. If you can help someone, there is no better deed than it!
- Avoid treating the networking site as a dating site: Sending generic connection requests can be a big mistake. Sending default connection requests to people you do not know or have known at a meeting might seem very unprofessional. One must properly specify how you are better connected and why you would like to connect with him to exceed your professional network. It’s, thus, not a dating site. It’s a professional network. It helps employees to reach out to their dream jobs. It can also help you sometime in the future!
- Asking for recommendations from least known contacts: Asking people to recommend you, people who just know you, or some might even wonder whether they know you. As recommendations emphasize your skills, on the skills of even the one referring you, asking such favors might be childish on a professional network. Once you’ve worked with your colleague, you can ask him/her to recommend you to some job he is well known or has got his contacts up to.
- Overusing endorsements feature: People generate endorsements for their friends; this might be fake. Friends endorse each other without realizing whether the skill sets are present in their contacts or not. Endorsements should speak out for your colleagues. It will help HR professionals to identify the best talent globally and recruit them for the best payable jobs in the market.
- Using unprofessional photos: People or students sometimes put photos on the beach, posing with friends, or in restaurants /hotels, which look very unprofessional. Remember, Linkedin is a professional social networking site. Be professional and upload photos at an office, work, or library. Solo passport-size photos look much simpler and define you better as an individual…
- Exaggerating your resume: Many people exaggerate their resume, over-boost their skills when they lack many skills, and mislead the hiring folk. This doesn’t much serve the purpose of the HR who use LinkedIn as a major recruitment tool for various job profiles across locations.
- Subject to self-assessments and self-given titles: Sometimes, exaggerating oneself with self-given titles may seem childish on LinkedIn. It can lead to an image of self-exaggerating and over-expectations from the job profile. This can be misleading.
- Exaggerating or Inflating your experience. It’s bad enough to inflate your experience, strengths, achievements, skills, and accomplishments on your resume. But when you do it on LinkedIn or any professional network, people who know the truth will see it. If your co-workers or former co-workers happen to look at your profile and see you posting accomplishments or responsibilities that they know you didn’t have much of or you were not actually good at, they will know that you’re lying and misleading others on such a reliable, professional networking site. Next time people might hesitate to trust you.
These minute mistakes must be corrected because it sometimes becomes embarrassing for others connected to you. It might have a negative impact on your HR if you’re looking out for a job.
How to avoid such mistakes on a LinkedIn profile?
- STEP 1: Put up a professional profile pic. Make sure it’s professional; you’re not posing, taking selfies, munching up in restaurants and hotels, or sitting up with friends on a beach. Students shall not put very glary profile pics. It’s not a friendship or dating site; it’s a professional network!
- STEP 2: Make a profile true to yourself. Write down your true, real-life achievements. Do not exaggerate. Do not write up skills that you do not have. Be true to yourself; do not fake. Your work should speak up for yourself. If possible, you can also upload papers and publications published by you on your LinkedIn profile.
- STEP 3: Do not ask for endorsements when you do not have the requisite skills. Do not ask friends to endorse you and recommend you. Put only those skills which you possess as your skills. If you do not possess a skill, do not ask your friends to endorse you. This is a professional site.
- STEP 4: Do not ask just acquaintances to write reviews for you. This might seem fake and misleading. Reviews should be written only by colleagues who know how good you are at a particular skill. Those who know you are weak at a skill might see you as a faker if you put up false reviews by friends and relatives. Try to help out all and make tasks easier for all. To outreach the best talents across boundaries.
- STEP 5: Have clarity in your search. Make sure your heading is clear about what you are doing or what you are currently working on. This helps your profile to have an advanced or expert level of completion. If you are searching for an internship, redefine your LinkedIn status. If it’s a job, show clarity in your search.
These simple steps can help you to complete a truly professional profile and connect with the best professionals across the globe. The best uses of a Linkedin profile and a professional networking site can be used when used truly to its use without any cheating. This platform helps to communicate with industry leaders. You can find a job anywhere, regardless of geographical barriers. These simple professional tips can help build a strong professional profile and networking site. It can help you to enhance your connections.
Here are some definitions to get you well acquainted with some terms of LinkedIn:
- Connections – Connections are other registered users whom you invite and send requests to connect to on a free accessible LinkedIn site.
- Second-degree connections – Friends of your connections are your second-degree connections.
- Third-degree connection –Connections of your second-degree connections are your third-degree connections.
- Profile page – This is your personal page on LinkedIn. All registered users on your LinkedIn account, with LinkedIn, can view it (unless you set it to be a private page). Your profile page can list your experiences, projects, training, internships, education, past work history, current and past projects, groups and associations, and more. Users can also forward your profile page to contacts on their lists. You can also make your profile page public, i.e., even people not on LinkedIn can view it.
- Recommendations – Your connections can write recommendations, testimonials, and reviews for your profile. These can be a powerful way you can be recommended for good jobs in the market.
- Introduction – Introductions are when a third party introduces two people who weren’t currently connected but will hereby get connected after the introduction. For instance, your colleague Sue and your client Dan don’t know each other. Introduction to each other can help either way to solve both work-related and personal problems.
Few Tips for Your LinkedIn Profile:
- Tip 1: Remember that your boss, people you work with, your colleagues, your known contacts, and others at your organization will be able to see your LinkedIn profile. Do not regularly post updates or update your profile. It might give a bad picture that you are searching for other jobs!
- Tip 2: It’s an obvious point, but it’s one that people forget: information. Make sure that you respect confidentiality; business should be confidential. It’s not your personal information; it’s the company’s property! And don’t give away information that could harm your organization or leak or damage any other data of its client or for its future use.
Remember these guidelines when using LinkedIn:
- Use introductions usefully – Success on LinkedIn relies heavily on reputation and how you address and put up yourself. Be careful when you ask for an introduction, recommend or introduce yourself to others. It defines you completely and does so only if you truly think everyone can benefit.
- Always tell the truth, be it your profile or your achievements – When discussing where you’ve worked, your projects, your work, anything, and what you’ve accomplished, be honest and don’t oversell yourself but speak the work you did.
- Be professional – LinkedIn is used mainly for networking and hiring. Stay professional and maintain the true etiquette anytime and at all times. Use other sites like Facebook for personal posts. No personal posts on LinkedIn.
This article was just a way to help you connect better and also help you build up a professional network where the impression, be it personal or professional, that you put up helps you to find a better job, a better professional environment, and a happy and empowered workplace to work at.