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6 Things You Should Never Do On Professional Social Sites

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We’ve all seen them: the LinkedIn profiles that make us cringe.

LinkedIn’s mission is to “connect the world’s professionals to enable them to be more productive and successful.” Sorry folks, but this means solo cup pictures and baby photos are not appropriate for this social media site. What might be cute on Facebook just doesn’t cut it in the corporate world. In fact, the following digital mistakes could seriously injure your chances of landing the job you want.

A great rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t put it on a résumé or say it in an interview, then it’s probably not for LinkedIn either.

Here are some things you shouldn’t do on your professional sites.

1. Overshare

It’s good to connect social media sites to LinkedIn . . . except when it’s not. If your Tweets and Facebook updates don’t often reflect a professional persona, it’s best to leave them detached from this networking site. “aT the #baR till 4AM!!!” doesn’t give off the best impression for prospective employers. On the other hand, if you maintain a relatively professional attitude with social media, link it up! The more relevant updates, the better.

2. Annoy Others

Reaching out to recruiters can be done, but in a respectful way. Asking directly for an email or the phone number of an employer is usually not considered a classy move. Most won’t have time to review your résumé, so if you approach a recruiter, have a specific question about a position. Don’t beg for information. Keep in mind some recruiters are more responsive than others, and it’s always best if you reach out to contacts with shared connections.

3. Post Inappropriate Pictures

example of a picture that is not professional

Courtesy of andrewmacarthy.com

That tiny profile picture on LinkedIn is your one shot at leaving a visual impression, so make it a good one. Don’t include other people in your photo, and remember to remain professional. Recruiters are not interested in your drunken adventures or your filtered Instagram pictures.

4. Over Connect

The primary point of LinkedIn is to “connect” with others in your field of work. But be careful with your connections: Do you know them personally? Did you do business together? Are they involved in your industry? Remember, LinkedIn is not Facebook and should not be treated as such.

5. Repeating

crumpled professional resume
When describing your past positions and abilities, refrain from using the same words as everyone else. The top five most commonly used phrases on LinkedIn are: creative, organizational, effective, extensive experience, and track record. Competition for opportunities can be fierce, so you must craft your LinkedIn Profile and résumé to stand out.

6. Neglect Profiles

It’s easy to leave your profile stagnant, especially if you are only using professional sites occasionally. However, an updated, well-crafted profile is key when trying to appeal to recruiters. Not only should your previous work experience be listed in an organized manner, but your current position should also be included. Companies don’t want to guess where you work, so don’t leave them wondering. Adding projects or professionally updating your status is another way to stay relevant.
LinkedIn’s membership has climbed 28% in the past year to include 332 million members. That could mean a lot of people looking at your profile. You want to make sure you’re not harming your chances for career growth with bad profile tactics.

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