LinkedIn is currently the number one professional networking platform. With over 500 million profiles, it's also where hiring managers and recruiters go to find their next rockstar employee, freelancer, vendor, etc. The challenge is standing out (for all the right reasons) among the sea of professionals with the same skill sets as you. Why do some people get tons of profile views, invitations to connect, and personal notes from employers and customers interested in hiring them? They've invested time and energy into doing all the right things on LinkedIn.

Every social media platform has some unwritten do's and don'ts. 

LinkedIn is no exception. Failing to adhere to these rules can hurt your credibility on the platform. Here are eight things you should (or, shouldn't) be doing on LinkedIn:

1. Don't put "actively seeking opportunities" on your profile. Besides conveying desperation, studies show recruiters are bias against the unemployed. Which is the message you're sending when you post that publicly.

2. Don't write your profile like a narcissist. Writing your profile in the third person is the fastest way to come across as out-of-touch and full of yourself.

3. Use the right terminology. LinkedIn's search algorithm is keyword-driven. Knowing what skill sets to put on your profile and where will increase the number of times you show up in search results.

 4. Turn on the secret switch. There's a privacy setting now available on LinkedIn that lets you secretly let companies know you're open to new job opportunities. Ever wonder how some people get called out of the blue for interviews? Now you know.

5. Don't feature the wrong profile pic. They say, "a picture is worth a 1000 words," and on LinkedIn, that's especially true. Too many people are taking the wrong approach to their profile photo and it's costing them opportunities.

6. Don't send horrible connection requests. If you've ever been "ghosted" on LinkedIn, then you likely broke the rules of engagement with strangers on LinkedIn.

7. Make sure your work history syncs up. According to hiring managers, the one place where your resume and LinkedIn profile should be identical is the work history section. Otherwise, they'll assume you're pulling a bait-and-switch.

8. Don't use it to reach out on Mondays. Studies show it's the worst day of the week to connect with people. Wait until Fridays when people are most likely to respond positively.

P.S. Treat LinkedIn like it's the website for your business-of-one.

Today, every job is temporary and we are all just businesses-of-one who have to be strategic in our career planning. If you want the best job opportunities and to stay employed, you need to market yourself consistently. LinkedIn is the ideal place to do this. But, failing to use it correctly can cost you. As we say at Work It Daily, "Brand or BE branded." Not taking control of the message you're sending on LinkedIn isn't smart. It can make you look like A) you're not tech-savvy, B) don't have any accomplishments, or C) you have something to hide. Like it or not, LinkedIn is now a required part of proper career management.

Published on: Mar 19, 2018