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By Sherry Bruck, Career Center Operator

People who bundle LinkedIn with the other social platforms are ignoring one of the most empowering professional networking tools of our time. It is the only social media site dedicated to you as a professional, whether you are an employee or an employer. Here are the ten most common questions and misperceptions:

1. Should I be concerned with privacy?
LinkedIn is built to be transparent. Users do not use anonymous handles, which is why it is one of the best professional networking tools out there. Yes, with just a few clicks you can find almost anyone you want and learn more about their professional background and/or their company, and they can also find you. It’s the equivalent of having a professional website page—you want to be found!

2. How do I use LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is intended to be a resource for job seekers and employers and is a great place for building a brand, sharing professional insights and resources and finding allies, partners, and contractors who can provide valuable skills to you and your organization. Unlike Facebook or Instagram, it should be used very intentionally.

3. What information should I include in my profile and how long should it be?
Your LinkedIn profile should contain all the information you want your professional network to see, which starts with your resume or bio. The one-page resume rule doesn’t apply for LinkedIn profiles so there is no limit to length. You can also include photos and portfolio pieces. When people visit your profile page they should get a clear picture of your professional credentials and skillsets.

4. Do hiring managers inspect candidates’ LinkedIn profiles? If so, what are they looking for?
You should operate under the assumption that all potential employers and/or business associates are going to check out your LinkedIn profile. Hiring managers might visit LinkedIn to confirm that the information there is consistent with what they see in your application. They will also use it to learn more about you.

5. What are the biggest mistakes people make on their LinkedIn profiles?
There are a few but these are the top three. 1) No headshot or an unprofessional headshot. LinkedIn is not the place for snapshots of your vacation on the beach. 2) An incomplete professional or outdated work history. 3) Incorrect contact information.

6. Do I need a LinkedIn profile if I already have a job?
If you’re a professional, you should still consider having a profile as people looking to network will use LinkedIn to search for you. We should also take into account how it looks if we are difficult to find and contact. Additionally it serves each of us to stay abreast of where colleagues and associates are employed, what our competitors are doing, and/or current trends in our industry. Also a profile can help you document a chronology of your professional life and accomplishments. You may not be looking for an opportunity right now, but by consistently investing in your online professional presence, you never know who you are impressing!

7. Should I accept all connection requests that come my way?
No, you shouldn’t accept them all. Curate your connections on LinkedIn so that your feed will be filled with people you genuinely want to be in your network. That way, when you sign into your LinkedIn, it will be filled with news and information that is useful and applicable to you.

8. What is the value of sharing and commenting on other’s posts?
Being an active member of a community requires commitment and cooperation. Consider LinkedIn a Town Hall. Liking, commenting, tagging, and sharing information is helpful to your network and in return your network will be helpful to you. As with any social platform it’s important to budget the amount of productive time you will spend on this type of activity.

9. What about LinkedIn messages? Do people read them? Should I send them?
People almost never read their messages with the same frequency that they read email. Given that, if you want to get in touch with someone, the best strategy is to email them directly. LinkedIn messaging should only be used as a last resort if you cannot find the person’s email address.

10. How often should I log into LinkedIn?
For any platform to be useful, you have to put time into it. If you are on the job hunt and actively seeking opportunities and connections via LinkedIn, sign in daily. For those who are just keeping up with their network through LinkedIn, once a week or so is plenty.


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