What Not to do on LinkedIn

LinkedIn Profile Optimization

I wrote a lot about what you need to do on LinkedIn. In this tutorial I am going to write about what not to do on LinkedIn. Believe me – there is a lot of stuff happening on LinkedIn that takes away value. Value from the network as a whole, but also value from your profile. As a matter of fact, you could destroy your reputation on LinkedIn and void out all the good and hard work you have done.

In one of my first jobs I had a manager that acted tough, but showed a high level on integrity, trust, and character. From her I learned an extremely valuable piece of advice and I am going to share it with you here today:

“Stay away from the gossip. Stay away from the water cooler talk.”

I have been following that advice as much as possible and I think it proved to be invaluable for many reasons. In this case it is spot-on for LinkedIn. Stay away from the gossip. Do not talk about religion or politics as an example. People start losing their cool when it comes to topics like that. Stay away from posting pictures with racy images or anything that could make the wrong impression if the observer gets caught looking at your update by his or her manager. Think about the potential value your posting provides and ask yourself will it help anyone on LinkedIn or is it maybe better to post this type of update on Facebook or Twitter.

I talked about the importance of providing updates and to use LinkedIn Pulse. Once you have a larger network on LinkedIn you will inevitable see people sharing stuff that should not be shared on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is not Facebook and certain type of postings might belong onto Facebook, but not on LinkedIn. Remember, you want to make a professional impression on LinkedIn. You want to eventually attract recruiters and hiring managers to look at your profile and then contact you because they like what they see.

Take a look at the following screenshots and pay close attention to the original postings, but also pay close attention to the comments shown.


Note: Posted by an HR executive?! Also, consider the comments. Keep in mind there is one opportunity for a first impression and this should not be it.

Note: These type of political discussions can become very heated quickly and I doubt you want to show up being involved in such a discussion. Stay away.

Note: While appropriate for a personal trainer, imagine John Doe in his cubicle going through his LinkedIn feed having this on the screen when his manager comes around the corner to talk to him ….

Note: Good for you that you work remotely from your boat. Post it to Facebook next time, please.

Note: Thank you to all that served and protect our freedom. You have my respect. From a value perspective on LinkedIn I do not see any.

Note: While entertaining and eventually “approved” by sales staff, but does it carry value or make you look like a better sales rep?!

Note: You probably don’t want to advertise your drinking and partying habits on LinkedIn …