If you haven't heard, LinkedIn is the platform for job hunting or showcasing your professional achievements. In the past, we've offered quick tips for using LinkedIn and step-by-step instructions on how to become an expert LinkedIn user.
While it's nice to get tips on ways to improve your profile and make it professional, not all advice is good. Here is a list of the worst advice we've ever heard about LinkedIn.
Who cares if your profile is outdated, LinkedIn only matters if you're looking for a new job.
LinkedIn is absolutely helpful when searching for a new job, but it is so much more than that. It is a place to improve your industry knowledge, connect with like-minded professionals, and highlight your achievements and successes.
It is a networking tool, and you don't want to only network when you're job hunting. Networking is a long-term investment; you build your connections over time and provide value to those individuals, so when it comes time to ask for a favor in return, you've got some clout under your belt to do so.
Update your profile routinely so you stay relevant. The right people will take notice and you will see the benefits.[Don't forget to download your free LinkedIn checklist and guided brainstorming workbook.]
Your headline should be catchy/unique/mysterious.
Your headline is one of the key factors in showing up in LinkedIn search results. If you have some wacky headline like "growth hacker | guru | ninja" you are hurting your chances of showing up in search results that are actually relevant to your expertise. Be explicit and specific. If you are a Fluid Power Sales Engineer, say exactly that in your headline, and if you work for a large or well-known organization, include that in your headline too.
Keep your summary strictly professional.
Showcasing your skills, accomplishments and experience in a summary is highly recommended, but one way to stand out in the crowd is to let your personality shine through the copy. Adding some flair to your summary can help keep people on your profile longer. So, of course, be professional in the sense that you don't riddle your profile with expletives or vulgar language, but unbutton the suit and let your personality come through.
Don't bother adding hobbies and volunteer work, no one reads those sections anyways.
By adding things like hobbies and volunteer work, your LinkedIn profile becomes more complete. It's a holistic picture of who you are and what is important to you. This is great when job hunting and networking, because it can help you find a culture match and connect you with like-minded people.
Posts don't really matter.
Posting content and status updates may not come easy to you, but they are important. Posting shows you are up to date on industry trends and news, and can position you as an expert in your field. Share what you know, show that you're knowledgeable and forward thinking. The more you share, the more your connections will see your profile, and the more potential you'll have to land an even better job.
Anytime someone tries to tell you LinkedIn is only important if you're job hunting, tell them they're wrong. LinkedIn is a networking tool and a platform to demonstrate your knowledge each and every day. And now you're armed with a few rebuttals if any well-meaning coworkers try to give you these bad bits of advice.