Keeping it Professional: 5 Things to Avoid on LinkedIn

Keeping it Professional: 5 Things to Avoid on LinkedIn

Mark Raffan

With so many different social media platforms, it can be tough to know the best type of content to share—and what to avoid—on each one.

Your LinkedIn profile and posts can enhance or damage your brand and influence.

So, what shouldn’t you do on LinkedIn?

The biggest thing to remember is to keep it professional. Here are five things to avoid on LinkedIn.


  • Sharing controversial material

These topics generally polarize people. So it’s best to avoid posting about them on LinkedIn. And avoid controversial material that’s negative in tone. LinkedIn isn’t the platform for debating serious issues. If you share views that your clients or other professional contacts oppose, you could damage your business or personal brand.

Political and religious posts are an example. You could offend your connections if you post something, and they disagree with it. So resist posting, or even commenting on, controversial topics.


  • Posting too much personal information

LinkedIn is a professional network. It’s not Facebook or Instagram. So, skip the viral cat memes, selfies, and party pictures. Instead, share relevant content, advice, and opinions that enhance your professional brand.

You also want to stay away from posting personal information about others—for example, sharing intimate details about your children or connections. For one, LinkedIn isn’t the platform for this (remember, keep it professional). You could also share sensitive information with your extended network.


  • Using the wrong profile photo (or no profile photo)

Again, LinkedIn is different from other social sites. So steer clear of washroom, beach, or pub selfies. And don’t include your partner, friends, children, or pets in your profile photo. You also want to avoid showing a background like your kitchen or bedroom.

Having a profile picture on LinkedIn makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed. So it’s a must to have one. Use a high-quality headshot that projects professionalism.


  • Excessive self-promotion

There are 90 million senior-level influencers on LinkedIn—with 63 million in decision-making positions. So yes, you do want to sell yourself. But, there’s a difference between sales pitch posts and building professional relationships. Glaring ads or pitches could be ignored—and it could potentially hurt how connections view your brand.

Instead, bring value to your audience. Professional content gets more than 15 times more impressions than job postings. So, create and curate the expert content that your target clients find useful and inspiring. Your brand could be the first that comes to mind when they need the services you provide.


  • Forgetting to edit your profile and posts

Incorrect grammar, typos, and inappropriate language might be forgiven on other social sites. But not on LinkedIn. Think of your LinkedIn profile as your professional resume or webpage. Wouldn’t you edit your language and layout before sending or publishing it?

Errors can distract viewers when they visit your profile or read your content. They can take away from your brand. It could also show you aren’t attentive and professional. So make sure you edit your posts and content—or have an expert help you.

Keeping it professional on LinkedIn is the best way to strengthen your brand and reputation. Plus, it won’t lose you any potential or current customers. Instead, it can gain them.

Mark Raffan

Mark Raffan

Mark is a serial entrepreneur and lover of marketing and influence. Mark built the #1 negotiation podcast in the world and is an expert negotiation, influence, and persuasion coach that has coached executives and their teams in some of the largest companies in the world.