The article posted by Carlin Twedt on Ragan’s PR Daily website on the do’s and don’ts of professional networking on social media highlighted a number of points I have been wanting to share on professional networking on LinkedIn.

I have noticed that there are people on LinkedIn using the platform almost like their personal Facebook page. One needs to remind LinkedIn users that this is a professional networking platform therefore images that are used for your professional profile should be exactly that, professional. I have seen profiles showing people catching fish, with their girlfriends or wives, sitting on their motorbikes or in their cars, out partying, etc. Now, I need to state here that all these types of profile pictures belong on your personal Facebook page unless this has to do with your business persona, if it does not, then change it so it reflects your professional image. Remember first impressions are lasting, so if you want to make a good impression then ensure your profile picture does reflect your business persona.

Another don’t is to not have any profile picture at all. LinkedIn is all about selling yourself in a professional capacity, people deal with people, not faceless personas and at the same time it is important to have a recent profile picture and not one from many years ago so when people do meet you they recognise you instantly.

Adding people by checking that you are friends is an absolutely no no. I often receive invitations from people who have checked that we are friends and I don’t know them, have never met them. It means that more than likely I will not add them to my network, just be honest and rather send a message if you don’t know the person and request that you would like to be part of their network, you will probably get a more positive reaction if you do so.

Not updating one’s LinkedIn profile when resigning or leaving a company. There are many people who do not update their profile upon leaving a company and leave their status as employed by that company for many months thereafter which does not bode well for them if they are looking for other employment and the recruiter assumes that you are still employed by the company that you have stated on your profile. Honesty is always the best policy.

Let us keep LinkedIn the way it should be as a professional networking platform and use it effectively.

If you need help in updating your LinkedIn profile, please contact me.