With social recruiting on the rise, a poor or inappropriate online presence can be a potential turn-off for recruiters (not to mention the impact it will have on your networking). This is especially true on LinkedIn, where 9 out 10 recruiters will go to learn more about you.
To maximize your chances for establishing an exciting career, you must know how to avoid the major deal breakers and major faux pas on LinkedIn – the don’ts. Just as important, you must know what recruiters want to see in your profile – the do’s.
Here are my top eight do’s and don’ts for peak networking on the world’s largest professional network:
1. Don’t Collect Acquaintances
LinkedIn is not about popularity, but genuine professional relationships. That’s why the number of your acquaintances won’t impress anyone. It’s about the quality of interactions, not quantity. Instead of sending lots of generic messages to random people in hope that they add you to their networks, focus on these relationships that you consider valuable for reasons ranging from professional support to potential job opportunities. If you receive a request from someone you don’t know, don’t feel obliged to accept it, LinkedIn never sends information about your refusal to the sender.
2. Do Choose Your Groups Carefully
The groups you’re a part of are an important section of your profile. Choose them carefully and pick only those that really correspond to your interests. If you’re not getting anything out of a group, don’t hesitate to leave.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out to Recruiters
Recruiters have profiles on LinkedIn precisely for networking and interacting with potential candidates. If you find someone who could connect you to interesting career opportunities, don’t be shy. Reach out in a meaningful way – write a concise note about yourself, your background and why you think you two should connect. A generic message will only leave a bad impression.
4. Do Take It Slow
Whether it’s online or offline, creating new relationships takes time. Unfortunately, some eager LinkedIn users forget about it and, in the throes of their job seeking, start to expect too much in too little time. Build your relationships slowly, allowing the other party to gain confidence in you and your professionalism.
5. Don’t Forget About Privacy Settings
Revamping your profile usually means that you’re on the lookout for new career opportunities – and that’s not something you want your colleagues or boss to know. Make sure to check your privacy settings. You may tick off the notification option when your profile is edited. If you’re following groups you want to keep private, such as a direct competitor or a recruiting firm, you can add these options too.
6. Do Stay Active and Consistent
Even when you finally land your dream job, don’t just abandon your LinkedIn profile. Your personal branding needs to be consistent. With every post and share you’re actually creating your digital footprint, so make sure to continue it. Getting head-hunted by recruiters scanning your profile will only boost your confidence.
7. Don’t Worry About Being Perceived As a Stalker
What some professionals worry about is the fact that LinkedIn shows who viewed your profile. This is a good thing and it should never bother you that a managing director of your dream company will know that you checked his background. Everyone is expecting it and nobody will consider you annoying or stalkerish.
8. Do Present a Professional Profile Photo
Your profile is much more likely to be viewed if it includes a profile photo. Make sure it’s professional and shows only you – not your partner or child. It doesn’t have to be professional headshot, but it must be of high quality.
Thanks to LinkedIn, a variety of networking opportunities are now within your reach. If you play it right, you seriously stand a chance of landing your dream job!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Bulls Eye Recruiting!
About the Author: Monique Craig is an Australian blogger and marketing specialist who works for Oneflare, an online marketplace which connects customers with local service providers. You can send a tweet to her @Oneflare.