Can Linkedin hurt your job search?

Linkedin is a wonderful tool that, when used properly, can be instrumental in helping you land your next job. The challenge is that often times people misunderstand how to effectively use Linkedin, and that can come back to hurt them in the long run. Here are a few things to be consider when using Linkedin:

-Having an incomplete profile can hurt you. Linkedin has a lot of “Google Juice.” This means that if your name is even remotely unique, and you have created a profile on Linkedin, it will likely be the first or second thing that pops up when someone Google searches you. It is for this very reason that you want to make sure you have a complete profile that reflects who you are in the best possible light. You should create an on-line brand that represents who you are and what you offer in an effective, cohesive and consistent way.
-No profile picture = Less connections. People are less inclined to connect with people who do not have a profile picture.  Not having a profile picture can often make people wonder what you are trying to hide. News flash: If a company is going to discriminate against you based on what your profile picture looks like, they will also discriminate against you in person. Discrimination happens a lot less often then people think. Only about 5-10% of companies will discriminate based on things such as age or race. Unfortunately it does happen on occasion, but if I were you, I would not want to work for a company that might discriminate against me in the first place. Regardless, do not put up a random picture of yourself, try to make sure that the picture is somewhat professional.
-You are more likely to get hired if you have recommendations. Recommendations on Linkedin are taken very seriously as it is nearly impossible to fake a Linkedin recommendation. If a company Google’s you and sees that you have several recommendations via Linkedin, they will likely take your application much more seriously. A company could also be concerned if you do not have any recommendations, so it is always advisable to have at least one recommendation.

-Be careful who you associate with. If someone has a bad reputation in your industry, or if a company or group is not looked up positively, you might want to steer clear of connecting with that person or group via Social Media as it could reflect poorly upon you. Who you associate with says a lot about your personal brand and/or your business. You could be judged by who you are connected with so make sure that you think twice before adding someone that could potentially tarnish your reputation.

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