The other day I was looking at a candidate’s profile on LinkedIn while considering him for one of my open jobs. Under the “activity section” on his profile, I saw likes and comments on inappropriate and controversial topics. While this candidate was qualified for the job, I chose to not move forward because of his LinkedIn mistakes.
My experience provoked me to reflect and share a few best practices for job seekers. During a typical work day, I see a handful of posts, comments, likes and articles on LinkedIn. Here are my top 3 LinkedIn mistakes job seekers should never make:
1. Post personal, political or religious opinions
LinkedIn is a professional network. It is a tool that job seekers can use to market themselves to hiring managers, recruiters or industry professionals. Don’t be the person who mixes business with pleasure. Save your opinions for social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and consider making those profiles private.
2. Share negative stories about a company or manager you have worked for in the past
We’ve all had negative experiences at work. But LinkedIn is not the platform for expressing your discontent. Always consider your audience. If you’re badmouthing your former boss, why wouldn’t you do the same to your future employer?
3. Like and comment on every post you see
While it’s important to like and interact with content and users, there is a point when it becomes spam. While email has a spam folder (thank you, Outlook), LinkedIn doesn’t, so it is important to be self-aware. If you want to get someone’s attention, try to post an engaging comment on an article or “like” something that directly relates to you or your job search.
Recruiters, hiring managers and industry professionals can see your activity on LinkedIn. Be smart, stay positive/professional and do not spam the activity feed. If you ever find yourself wondering if you’re making a LinkedIn mistake, feel free to ask or get a second opinion before clicking your mouse.