LinkedIn

5 ways you’re setting yourself up to fail on LinkedIn

Your LinkedIn profile might be one of the first things a recruiter sees about you, so don’t make these mistakes. Here’s what you might be doing on the professional networking platform that’s setting you up to fail.

Not checking your privacy settings before updating your profile

You know how once you update your profile, LinkedIn lets your whole network know? It doesn’t have to be that way — especially when you’re sprucing up your profile for a job hunt while you’re still employed.

To check your settings when it comes to updating your profile, click “Settings & Privacy,” then “Privacy,” then “Sharing Profile Edits.” You have the option to choose “No.”

The same goes for checking out other users’ profiles (for work purposes, of course). To check your settings when it comes to who can see you’ve viewed their profile, click “Settings & Privacy,” then “Privacy,” then “Profile Viewing Options.”

From there, you can choose if you want “Your name and headline” to pop up in the other person’s notifications, “Private profile characteristics,” or “Private mode.”

Using it as a dating site

No, no, no. Absolutely NOT. As a professional networking platform, your job is to be a professional — so act that way.

We’ve said this before, and we will say it again: LinkedIn is not a dating site, so please don’t use it to flirt.

After all, if you do, you might just end up like this.

Having an outdated profile picture…

You’re doing yourself a major disservice.

Here’s what Lydia Abbot, Blog Editor & Content Marketer at LinkedIn, had to say about picking a picture “that looks like you” on the platform, in a blog post.

“Have you ever had the experience of first seeing someone’s Facebook or LinkedIn picture online and then meeting them in person only to find that they look completely different (for better…or for worse)? If yes, you know it can be startling and even make you question their credibility,”Abbot writes. “So, make sure your LinkedIn profile picture is up-to-date (within the past few years) and reflects how you look on a daily basis – your hair, glasses, makeup, etc.”

…or not having a photo at all

Not having a LinkedIn photo is a red flag. Wouldn’t you want to see how someone presents themselves professionally?

Not filling in the description box or other fields

You’re not giving yourself a fair shot here. Recruiters and future colleagues won’t be able to connect with you if you don’t tell them who you are through your experience.

So fill in the gaps — be sure to edit your introduction by including an accurate summary (that isn’t too long) and/or media. Don’t neglect the “Experience,” “Education,” or “Accomplishments” sections, either.

Jane Burnett is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at jburnett@theladders.com.