1) Don’t attempt to connect with everyone to seem popular
While it may seem tempting at least when you’re first getting started to add everyone and anyone who shows up on the “People you may know” list, I would advise against it. Concentrate on building your network by looking for your peers, your professors, and people that you actually know. If you’re networking correctly, your network will grow to an impressive amount through organic growth.
2) Don’t say you have skills that you really don’t
When a recruiter or hiring manager is looking over your LinkedIn you don’t want to come off as a “phony”. These people are well aware of the skills that you develop through your studies and through internships. Stick to things you've studied, if you really have to use the skills section. You could also just leave that part off, most people do anyways.
3) You don’t have to list all of your work experience (like a resume)
Just like your resume it may be hard to leave off work experience you feel proud of but might not actually be helping you out. I think there is a grey area between putting information up that makes you look like you’ve been busy with a part time job, school, and clubs, and putting up experience that isn’t worthy of your LinkedIn profile.
In my opinion, your LinkedIn should be a more concise form of your resume, so I would lean towards leaving off the waiter/waitress type jobs. Stick to relevant work experience, internships, and non-profits.
4) Don't message someone and ask if they are hiring
You should never message anyone and say "hey are you guys hiring?" There is tact and strategy built into a networking plan and you should start off with a probing question, rather than a request.
5) Don’t send messages to people of the same firm, same office,on the same day
If you’re trying to network on LinkedIn and even if you’re sending out the right kind of messages, you don’t want to email everyone from the same office on the same day. I have observed someone who did a copy/paste job for a bunch of people in our office and it was discussed with mockery during lunch. Doing this gives the impression that you’re sending out an email blast to anyone who you can contact.
6) Don’t flaunt work experience that isn’t really work experience
This goes back to not flaunting your skills section, but I think many people also try to pad their resume with experiences that didn’t actually happen. In most situations the recruiters/hiring managers know who is faking it when they list exaggerated responsibilities and achievements.
However if there is task or responsibility that you did at least once, it's fair game for your LinkedIn profile (and resume).
7) Don’t skip out on the profile picture
This key because you want to be able to link a face to a name. Recruiters go on LinkedIn more often than you think and often browse the candidates to see how they are presenting themselves to the public. They usually already have the resume, but want to see if the candidate gives off a polished, professional impression. It’s no surprise this is very important when you’re in such a client facing industry. A positive impression is one of the most important things for new hire. They can weed out the ones who can’t perform but they will always hire the students they feel comfortable putting in front of clients.
8) Don’t add a ton of groups that are unrelated (just hide them from your profile)
There is a lot of value in adding groups that are in your interest, or industry. However, if you have a ton of groups (10-15+) it can give off the impression that you’re one of those aggressive networkers like an insurance salesman. Add all the groups you like, but make sure only a few of them are publicly listed on your profile. You can edit which groups are visible on your profile site and go down to groups and click edit.
9) If you’re sending out messages to multiple people, make sure to proof read
I actually made this mistake and I want to make sure that you don’t do the same. I sent out a lot of messages before recruiting season and I was later following up with all of the contacts to keep in touch. I had a standard template that I was using and then I would modify it for things that we talked about or maybe just the office and state. On one occasion, I forgot to change their NAME. Don’t let this embarrassment happen to you.
10) Don’t update LinkedIn like you update your Facebook or Twitter
I know this sounds basic and obvious, but LinkedIn is not a place to talk about personal things. I would say the furthest you should go is commenting on a current event like a big stock market movement or IPO. Even in this example just comment something like “It should be interesting to see how the market reacts to this.” Showing that you’re following general business trends can be favorable but don’t attempt to broadcast your predictions for the next stock rally if you really don't have no idea what you're talking about.
This is a syndication from Big4Bound.com