There are some things you just shouldn't do on LinkedIn.
Kim Brown is an assistant director for Syracuse University's Career Services department. She spends a good portion of her day looking over LinkedIn profiles for job seekers and students. She makes sure candidates are putting their best feet forward on LinkedIn.
Here are the most common mistakes Brown sees job seekers make on LinkedIn.
1. Your profile is full of typos
Brown says she's seen people spell a lot of things wrong on LinkedIn. She's seen typos in company names, job titles, and even in the user's name.
Unfortunately, LinkedIn doesn't have a built-in spell checker. But your Web browser might. Safari, Chrome, and Firefox underline misspellings in red. Bottom line, whatever you use: Be as careful on LinkedIn as you would be with a paper resume.
2. You have no picture in your profile
Adding a picture to your LinkedIn profile can make a world of difference to a recruiter. Studies have shown that profiles with pictures are much more likely to get clicked on LinkedIn than those without.
TheLadders conducted a study and found that recruiters spend more time examining a LinkedIn user's picture than actually reviewing the person's qualifications.
Worse, if a picture isn't included on a profile, people tend to assume it's because the person is ugly, says Miriam Salpeter at U.S. News & World Report.
Help yourself out and include a photo.
3. You have a profile picture, but it's a photo of you and your significant other
Do not get LinkedIn and Facebook confused, says Brown. Facebook is for personal pictures, LinkedIn is for professional ones.
Brown also says she sees a lot of people link to their Facebook profiles from their LinkedIn pages. Don't do this. It's best to keep the two profiles separate.
4. You haven't put any thought into your profile title
Brown says she sees a lot of people simply put "Student at Syracuse University" as their lead LinkedIn job title. She also sees a lot of professionals who are looking for jobs with old titles as headlines.
"If you're a job seeker and you have a [vague or outdated] title, I have no idea you're looking for work," says Brown.
Instead, it's better for a student to call themselves an "Advertising Major at Syracuse University" or a job seeker to write, "Experienced Advertising Professional." Always be honest in your headlines, even if you're currently unemployed.
5. You're not reaching out to people through LinkedIn Groups
It's a little strange to message people you don't know on LinkedIn. But if you do choose to message a stranger, try it first from a group you share in common. This helps break the ice, says Brown.
For example, if you're a Syracuse University alumnus, message a fellow Syracuse person from the Alumni Network before sending a blind InMail.
6. You're not personalizing LinkedIn connection requests
When you connect to someone for the first time on LinkedIn, don't just use the generic message option, "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn."
Take a few moments to write something personalized, says Brown. It will make the recipient more open to your request and the message feel less spammy.
Also, never lie about how you know the person. Lying is almost a guaranteed way to kill your chances at connecting.