Don't let your LinkedIn profile cost you the job of your dreams.

If you think your LinkedIn profile could use a little work or if you're brand-new to the platform, give this list of dos and don'ts a look:

  • DON'T: sound like you're bragging. While you should absolutely be proud of your accomplishments, waving your accomplishments around can come off as arrogant, or worse, insecure. You may think you're God's gift to the business world, but remember, a lion doesn't need to tell anyone he's a lion.
  • DO: use a recent professional-looking photo of you, and only you. I once saw an attorney use a picture of just his Bentley as his profile image. I suppose it's good to know he's putting his clients' dollars to good use. Remember, you don't need to hire a photographer to take your picture, just put on a nice outfit and enlist a friend to take a picture of you against a neutral background in a well-lit area. Don't forget to smile!
  • DON'T: bash your competition or a previous employer. This doesn't make you look good to anyone, especially a potential employer. This kind of petty behavior makes you look like an HR nightmare waiting to happen.

woman typing on laptop computer

  • DO: use spell check. Having grammatical errors or spelling mistakes on your profile is especially cringe-inducing if you're in the E or C suite. Copy and paste your profile content into a Word document to see if any errors get flagged.

  • DON'T: lie. We know better than to lie on a resume, the same rule applies to your LinkedIn profile.
  • DO: post your own professional publications. If you wrote something pertinent to your industry, share it! This not only gets attention from those in your professional realm, but you could also indirectly help someone in their career as well.
  • DON'T: advertise personal details. This is not the place to tell people that you are single and ready to mingle. That is what dating sites are for. 
  • DO: have a trusted friend or colleague evaluate your profile. An outside perspective can help call out any weak points in your profile, as well as add in any professional successes that you may have let slip your mind.
  • DON'T: speak in the third person. This is just plain weird and can be seen as aloof.
  • DO: refresh your profile every six months, three if you're on the job hunt. Think of your profile as a garden that needs to be weeded, planted, and trimmed on occasion. People are regularly looking at your profile, so keep everything you want to be seen up to date.

Know of any other useful LinkedIn tips? Let us know in the comments!