LinkedIn is a great resource to further your career and grow your network. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to have a LinkedIn profile set up and active. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile or want to know if you need to do some updates, we’re sharing some mistakes to not make when it comes to LinkedIn, here!

1. Waiting Until Your Job Search to Utilize it

When you’re actively using LinkedIn, for example posting and interacting with others, your connections will recognize you and become familiar with your online presence. This can result in future opportunities and connections. By only using LinkedIn when you are job hunting – you not only miss out on opportunities, you also lose most of the benefits of being on LinkedIn.  Build the presence beforehand, so when the time comes – it’s just about seeking and finding the right opportunity.

2. Not Uploading a Profile Picture

Leaving your profile photo as the default silhouette is an easy way to miss out on a lot of potential connections or opportunities. Profiles without a photo get significantly fewer views compared to those that do. If you’re going to set up a LinkedIn profile, follow through with all the necessary steps. Make sure you have a professional headshot. Something clear and bright is a good place to start.

3. Connecting with People You Don’t Know

If you’re new to LinkedIn, you may receive connection requests from people you don’t know. It’s easy to want to connect to boost your network, but that’s not ideal anymore. Unless you know them in some capacity, it’s not advisable to connect with them. If you think they may have a good reason to connect with them, send a message asking if they know you, or why they want to connect.  The value of your network on LinkedIn lies in the quality of those connections, not the number of connections you have.

4. Using the Auto-Messages

When you do decide to connect with someone, LinkedIn will auto-fill a standard message. However, what stands out the most is a personal message. Include things like a reminder of where you met, or why you want to connect. Either way, a personal message will greatly increase the likelihood that your connection is accepted and reciprocated.

5. Asking for Something Post-Connection

It’s an exciting time when someone accepts your connection! However, if you’re looking for a favor, or to sell a product, think again. Unless you’re proving value or providing someone with an opportunity that will benefit them, asking a favor of someone immediately after connecting will likely push them away. People never like to feel used or scammed and this remains true on LinkedIn as well. If you’re asking for a favor, make sure you do it appropriately, or you might lose that connection.

6. Removing Old Jobs and Experience

Removing irrelevant work experience from a resume is beneficial in certain circumstances. By doing so this showcases the most relevant experience and appropriate skills. However, if you do this on your LinkedIn profile, you may be removing experience that although may not be relevant, the skills that can be transferred may be. Try to keep the full narrative of your career present on LinkedIn. It will help you, and a prospective hiring manager to understand your background.