What LinkedIn (usually) lacks in ostentatious, glam, or funny posts, it makes up for in utility — provided you use it correctly. While you’re looking for a job or even just tracking progress in your existing role, here are three things you shouldn’t put on your LinkedIn.
Don’t advertise that you’re looking for a job
LinkedIn has a feature that allows you to show recruiters you’re open to new jobs without it being public knowledge — and there’s a reason for that. If you’re looking to make a move away from your current company, discretion is key. It might seem like LinkedIn is the perfect place to post a status advertising your interest in a new gig, but even if you have few connections on there, it can easily get back to your boss, at worst, or make you look desperate and unprofessional, at best.
Instead, use the Open to Work feature and toggle on the option for “recruiters only” so those with actual scouting and hiring power can see you’re available, but other nosy or interested parties can’t.
Don’t post about politics
In general, we know that posting about politics on any platform is an easy way to start a fight or end up with your foot in your mouth, but on LinkedIn, it can turn away potential opportunities or customers. Like posting you’re looking for a job, this might seem counterintuitive. For instance, if you’re a business owner whose company prospects are tied up in whichever candidate wins a particular election, it might seem appropriate to post about the upcoming vote using a business lens. Or if you’re a journalist who finds some candidates’ attacks on the press undemocratic, you might want to fire off a post that you think makes you look like a big First Amendment defender, ideally to better situate yourself in the industry.
The problem is you can’t predict how a recruiter, potential boss, or would-be customer will interpret and react to these posts, even if they’re related to your work. It’s best to avoid alienating anyone, even if it means not appealing directly to recruiters or customers who do agree.
Consider leaving out your graduation year
LinkedIn makes you add in the start and end dates for any jobs you input into your experience section, but doesn’t make you add dates for your graduation from college, so while you won’t be able to get around exposing a gap in your employment history as easily, you can get around revealing your age, to some degree.
It’s not legal for a potential employer to decline to hire you simply based on your age, but if your graduation year reveals that you’re an older person or fresh out of school, it could subconsciously factor into a recruiter’s perception of you anyway. If you’re worried about appearing too young or too old for a job, go ahead and leave that part blank. Just make sure the rest of your profile is detailed so it’s not too glaring.
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