If you’re only using LinkedIn as an online resume, you’re missing out!

LinkedIn is a professional networking site that can actually help you get hired faster (even if you’re not looking for a new and better job right now!). Employers are more willing to hire someone who has been referred by another employee than a stranger who just applied online. LinkedIn can also help you grow your referral network, connect with employees that work for companies you’d love to work for, and even automate your next job search.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much guidance available about how to actually use LinkedIn once you’ve created a profile. That’s why so many LinkedIn users are inactive or only log in once a month (or less!). Is this one of many mistakes you’re making on LinkedIn?

This list shares what not to do on LinkedIn and how to start using LinkedIn!

1 | Create A Profile and Disappear

If you’re not going to use LinkedIn, don’t bother with it. Yes, it can be your “set-it-and-forget-it” online resume or portfolio; but if you create a profile and disappear, you may miss out on connection requests from industry leaders or others in your field. Even worse, you may miss messages from hiring managers and recruiters that come across your profile.

Don’t miss out on growing your network, attracting potential referrals, and, ultimately, discovering better job opportunities available to active LinkedIn users.

2 | Settle For The Default Headline

When you create a profile, you get an amazing opportunity to showcase your personal brand and optimize how you appear in search results by creating a keyword-rich Headline. If you hurry through creating your profile and select the default that LinkedIn gives you, your Headline will only list your most recent position title and company name (or “Student at * Insert College Name here *”).

You will be less likely to appear in LinkedIn search results or have your profile automatically recommended to employers by LinkedIn’s new Intelligent Hiring Experience when a job is posted that matches your skills and experience if you settle for the default LinkedIn Headline.

3 | Make Your Public Profile Invisible

While there are circumstances where making certain details on your public profile hidden is understandable, you’re not helping yourself if you force every LinkedIn user and non-LinkedIn user to connect with you before they can see your profile. Make sure your Headline, Summary, Current Experience and Details, Past Experience and Details, and Education are visible to everyone.

In fact, most hiring managers and recruiters will move on to a more accessible LinkedIn profile if you have set strict privacy settings.

4 | Send Connection Requests To Everyone

You want to connect with LinkedIn users who will be mutually beneficial to connect with. Some of the first connections you should make are with family members, friends of family, friends, current and former co-workers, current or former supervisors, former classmates and professors, and colleagues that you have met at networking events.

If you’re sending connection requests to everyone on LinkedIn and not considering the mutual benefit, those connections won’t add any value to your profile or network.

5 | Endorse Skills You’ve Never Witnessed

This is still a continuous problem on LinkedIn. If you endorse skills that you’ve never witnessed for connections, it’s easy to find out and hurts that LinkedIn user. Your profile is connected to the endorsed LinkedIn user’s profile, and other users can find out if you’ve worked with this person or have mutual connections in just one click.

Be a transparent, honest, and helpful endorser by only endorsing the skills you’ve personally witnessed in action.

6 | Only Request Recommendations

Have you heard the saying, “To make friends, you need to be a friend?” This is true on LinkedIn and especially when recommendations are concerned. If you are only asking your connections to endorse your skills or write you recommendations and you fail to return the favor when appropriate, you have poor LinkedIn etiquette!

You have the power to boost your connection’s profiles by writing short by specific LinkedIn recommendations that support their career goals. So, do it.

7 | Repost Personal “Instagram” Photos

LinkedIn is not the place to share photos of your food or pets (unless it’s Bring Your Pet To Work Day!). LinkedIn is a network of business professionals who are here to keep up with industry insights and updates, learn or improve their professional skills, and grow their referral networks. Be intentional and appropriate with what you post to LinkedIn.

Reposting personal Instagram photos on LinkedIn won’t make you very many friends (or connections).

8 | Treat Your News Feed Like Facebook or Twitter

Similar to the point above, LinkedIn is not designed for social networking like Facebook or Twitter. You shouldn’t be sharing political or social opinions, videos of drunk (or plain stupid) people, or too personal of information (like break-up rants). LinkedIn attracts a more business professional audience that wants to grow professionally.

Keep your news feed clean of posts that are more suited for Facebook or Twitter.

9 | Complain About Your Boss or Co-workers

Whether or not you’re connected with your boss and co-workers, LinkedIn is not the place to publicly bash on your workplace. Hiring managers and recruiters will not want to reach out to someone so negative or who complains in such a professional space (in this case, LinkedIn may be compared to your place of work).

Keep your status updates, messages, and comments positive and professional to make the best first impression.

10 | Click “Post” Without Proofreading

Your social media profiles, in general, are being screened by hiring managers and recruiters with the top turn-offs being typos, poor grammar, and overall lack of business professional communication skills. Don’t look illiterate on LinkedIn because you can’t take ten seconds to proofread your posts.

You don’t know who will be reading your posts or comments, so proofread before clicking “Post.”

11 | Ignore Messages

Check your messages frequently. If you have a smartphone, there is no reason why you can’t download the LinkedIn app if only to get alerts when you have a new message. LinkedIn Messaging is where the networking magic happens.

Hiring managers and recruiters will not appreciate a response to their message that pings in their inbox a month (or more) later.

12 | Apply For Jobs Without Updating Your Profile

Don’t make this fatal mistake! When you apply for jobs on LinkedIn, one of the first details the job poster will see on your application is the number of related skills you have on your profile compared to the job posting. They will also see your Headline and a snapshot of your Experience and Education sections.

At the very least, identify the keywords used in the job posting and add them to your Skills section.

Original article here