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15 things to avoid when it comes to LinkedIn

Steven Cheeseman

Steven Cheeseman | Marketing Manager

Friday 21st Aug, 2020

When it comes to social media, there is no doubt that LinkedIn is an extremely useful tool for contractors. It not only allows limited company and umbrella company contractors to showcase their skill set in order to attract future vacancies, but it helps contractors to build up valuable industry contacts.

LinkedIn is a highly recognised professional network, therefore the last thing you want to do is appear as though you don't really know how to use it. Here are PayStream's top 15 things your profile should avoid:


1. No profile picture.

Something this simple can have a huge impact. Individuals are more likely to trust a connection when they can put a face to a name.

2. Using an unprofessional profile picture.

Some people may deem this as worse than having no profile picture at all. Remember, LinkedIn is a professional platform and your profile picture is in essence the first impression you are giving to a recruiter. If it features you holding up a pair of Jägerbombs on a night out, or taking in the rays on a Spanish beach from your Summer holiday, then it could be the only difference between you and another candidate. If you're procrastinating on your photo, they may assume you'll procrastinate on the job.

3. Using a badly cropped picture

LinkedIn has specific size guides for their profile pictures. Try and stick to the recommended size guide of 400 x 400 pixels and don't exceed the file size of 8MB. That way your image will fill the full area without any gaps which can make a huge difference.

4. A partially complete profile

Make sure you complete each section of your profile. Otherwise you'll have content gaps which could otherwise have been filled with the key skills and personal attributes that really sell you, over another contractor. LinkedIn will also give you notifications and tips on elements of your profile that need completing - make sure you're paying attention.

5. Out of date contact info

Don't forget to keep your phone number and email address is up to date on your profile. That way anyone who is wanting to connect with you will be able to do so.

6. Not using the personalised message feature

Whenever you invite an individual to connect, LinkedIn gives you the option to send a personalised connection message, which gives the invitation to connect that personal touch. This could increase the odds of your invitation being accepted whilst making your invitation appear more genuine.

7. Posting unsuitable content

The type of content that you feel is appropriate for Facebook may not be suitable for LinkedIn. Keep your content professional but don't rule out the occasional light hearted post.

8. Typos in your posts

A sure fire way to show that you don't have attention to detail, is to post content which contains typos. Make sure you proof read any content you send out via any social media channel.

9. Not taking part in industry relevant conversations

Networking is one of the key attributes for LinkedIn. Getting involved in conversation topics is an excellent way of making meaningful connections. Take some time to look through your news feed and see what people are talking about. 

10. Accepting anyone and everyone

Although it can be appealing to build up the number of connections you have, these connections are a representation of you. Make sure you check their credentials before accepting them.

12. Asking to connect with anyone and everyone

Much like the last point, it is also important for you to be selective with the individuals you send requests to. If you aren't connecting with the right people, you wont land the right contract.

12. Not effectively handling your profile visibility

Selecting who is able to view your profile is important because your profile will appear in public search engines such as Google. This link provides you with further information on how to effectively manage this.

13. Not asking for endorsements and recommendations

Recommendations from previous colleagues, or fellow peers, builds up your reputation and shows anyone viewing your profile that you are a trust worthy professional.

14. Not giving endorsements 

It is key to bear in mind the power of reciprocation. When you give others endorsements you are far more likely to get some back. So make sure you give out endorsements when they are deserved.

15. Sharing un-engaging content

It is key to bear in mind that visual content such as images and infographics are now attaining much more engagement than ever before. Try and share engaging media whenever relevant to your field of interest.

As an umbrella company or limited company contractor it is essential that you never underestimate the power of LinkedIn as a tool to source new contracts. These top tips will help to put you one step ahead of your competition.

Related article - How to become a trusted contractor

Turning down work can seem like an odd choice for limited company contractors, but sometimes it can actually work out better to do so. However, there is a skill to declining a contract offer so that it does not have an impact on any future chance of work. 

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