When it comes to business, most professionals understand the importance of networking. An excellent way to network and stay up to date on industry news—without attending lunch and learns every day—is to utilize LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site founded in 2002 that allows business professionals to connect and network with each other, and create and share industry-related information. 

This platform provides numerous ways to connect, share, and grow a network, but just like everything else, with the good comes the bad. There are certain dos and don’ts, should and shouldn’ts to follow in order to get the best out of the platform. Here are a few common faux pas to keep in mind as you work toward establishing your profile and growing your network. 
  1. Profile Photos
    Not having a photo at all, using a random image, or a photo with multiple people is a LinkedIn faux pa. The point of having a profile on LinkedIn is to connect and network. How can someone network with you if they’re not sure it’s you? A headshot image is the best photo to use as your profile picture.
  2. Thanking People
    The thought behind thanking people for posting is to increase engagement, but in reality it looks like you have too much time on your hands, or if you are utilizing automated messages, it looks like you didn’t read the post. Auto responding and liking every single post could send connections the wrong message, and could keep potential employers and future connections from reaching out. Try making a specific comment about something within the article; it will add value and engagement to the post. 
  3. Strange Job Titles
    Fluffy job titles mean nothing to employers or human resources representatives. Profiles and jobs are filed by keywords; if you want your profile to show up under a search for a specific position, use that position, or key elements of a position like “marketing” or “director,” in your profile. “Creative guru,” “head right-brained specialist,” or “chief website wizard” will get you nowhere and could hurt your prospects on a future job.  
  4. Connecting with TopLinked People
    For a while on LinkedIn, the “it” thing was gaining large quantities of connections rather than focusing on quality connections. Connecting with a TopLinked profile, which means that person is connected with thousands of others, doesn’t benefit you, your future employment, or your current business. Less is more. Make meaningful connections instead of collecting numbers.