Don’t let LinkedIn make you look unprofessional

LinkedIn can be a great tool to help you land your dream job.  But if used incorrectly, it can also prevent you from getting hired.

Unfortunately, LinkedIn has a lot of work to do in terms of privacy and sharing settings.  This is one of the most confusing social networks and I’ve even seen some “social media” experts make some big time mistakes.

These are a few things you should look at RIGHT NOW and change on your LinkedIn profile.




1. Your Public Profile

First things first.  You can fin your list of settings by clicking on your name at the top right of the screen and clicking Settings.  You’ll see options for profile settings, e-mail notifications and more.

You Public profile is what people see when they search you. By default, visitors have access to your entire profile—your picture, summary, current positions, education, website, groups and more.

If your intent is transparency, the full view is recommended. However if you’re not looking to disclose all of your information, go to the Profiles Settings section and update by unchecking the profile features that you don’t want displayed publicly. You can find this setting under the Profile Settings section.

2.  Turning off Notifications

One of the most annoying things on LinkedIn, adding or changing your profile, and then everyone you know is notified of the change.  This is important to turn off if you are searching for jobs while you are currently employed.  Imagine beefing up your resume, and now everyone you are connected to receives a notice you are working on your resume.  Awkward!

Updates will immediately be visible in your activity feed and broadcast to your network when you make changes to your profile. You can disable these updates by unchecking the box in your activity broadcast setting, accessible from the Privacy & Settings page.

You also have the ability to adjust the setting while editing your profile:

  1. Click the green check mark in the “Notify Your Network?” box on the right side of the page.
  2. Choose “No, do not publish changes.”

Some of the changes that trigger updates are:

  • Adding a new current job position (this will generate a “say congrats” update to your network
  • Adding a new link to a website
  • Recommending someone
  • Following a company
  • Adding a connection – we’ll send an update if you’ve chosen “Your connections” when you control who can see your connections.
  • Adding additional skills to your profile.
  • Sharing content with your network.
  • Editing the title of your current position (this will generate an update stating that “You’ve updated your experience section)
  • Current work experience anniversaries

 3. Stop Spamming Others with Invitations to Join

This is one of the worst features of LinkedIn and a personal pet peeve.  It’s obviously not just annoying to me, as there is now legal action facing LinkedIn.

At the center of the case is a function allowing users to invite people to connect with them. Users are able to give LinkedIn access to their address books from email services like Gmail and Yahoo Mail and LinkedIn will find existing members and offer to send an email invitation to those people who aren’t signed up to the site.

In most cases, the user has no idea LinkedIn has sent an email to everyone they have ever dealt with over email.  In fact, the lawsuit states that LinkedIn sends these personalized requests three times if they get no response from the recipient.  This can easily be a turnoff to some of your contacts, because it looks like YOU are the one pestering them to connect, not realizing it’s a LinkedIn function.

The easiest way to avoid this – do NOT let LinkedIn have access to your email account address book.


4. Twitter Settings

LinkedIn lets you tweet your LinkedIn status or stream your tweets to your LinkedIn profile. While this feature can be handy, you need to be careful: Generally, many experts advise that you should not send all your tweets to LinkedIn because not all of them might be business-appropriate

To find out whether or not you are posting all of your Tweets to LinkedIn, choose Twitter Settings under the Profile Settings section. Here you can add or remove a Twitter account, choose whether or not you want to display your Twitter account on your LinkedIn profile and decide whether or not you want to share all your tweets or only the tweets that contain the #in hashtag. Here, you can also adjust how you want your tweets to appear (i.e. with a picture, title page and short description).