LinkedIn Do’s & Don’ts To Make Sure You’re Giving The Best First Impression


It’s no secret that the Internet can seem a bit impersonal. In a space where you can have an entire conversation with someone without ever knowing what he or she looks like, or read an article without knowing a single thing about the author, oftentimes we can start to crave a slightly more personal connection.

It’s human nature to want to know more. Who is this person? What do they do? What are their interests?

When your crowdfunding campaign begins to gain traction and attract some attention, supporters, journalists, and new donors may seek out more information about you personally.

If you’re the main spokesperson or an active and vocal proponent of your campaign, you’ll likely be one of the first people they research in order to find out more about you, as well as verify the legitimacy of your crowdfunding efforts.

You put a great deal of thought and effort into every piece of marketing material for your crowdfunding campaign, so you want to make sure that your personal brand maintains that same sense of passion and professionalism.

LinkedIn is one of the best online platforms for sharing information about your educational background, professional skills, and employment history, but you want to make sure it’s the best portrayal of your personality and character. Keep these LinkedIn do’s and don’ts in mind to ensure that your LinkedIn profile is making the right first impression.

DO use a professional photo

LinkedIn is, at its core, a social network. However, you need to remember that it’s geared more towards your colleagues, and not your family and friends.

Your photo is one of the first things people look at when viewing your profile, so you want to make sure it sets the right tone. Select a professional-looking photo in which you look polished and put together. You also want to make sure the photo features you alone and clearly shows your face. Save the photos of you swimming with dolphins or cheering on your favorite football team for Facebook.

DON’T be overly formal

Even though you want to maintain a professional, business-oriented approach to LinkedIn, don’t lose sight of the fact that it is still a site designed for social networking. Therefore, your language doesn’t need to be as stiff and formal as it is on your traditional resume.

Use a more conversational tone throughout your profile to convey a bit about your personality and show readers that you’re professional and respectable, but still friendly and approachable. While you don’t want your profile to be littered with slang and “lol’s”, first-person pronouns and a more casual voice are definitely encouraged.

DO keep it updated

Neglecting to keep your profile updated can easily give viewers a negative impression of your work ethic and attention to detail. If you don’t have the time or motivation to maintain your personal LinkedIn profile, how are supporters supposed to believe you can successfully manage a crowdfunding campaign?

Make a habit of logging into your profile on a frequent basis to add new connections, feature your latest projects, and update your basic information. That way you can rest assured that readers are always getting current, accurate information about your professional experiences.

DON’T assume it will do the work for you

While LinkedIn is a great way to broadcast your skills and experience to a vast array of other professionals and peers, don’t assume you can slap your information up there and just leave it.

The main purpose of LinkedIn is to help you network, so be proactive about finding and adding new connections. That person you had a great conversation with at a local business event? Don’t just chalk it up as a brief meeting with a dead end. Send them a message and an invitation to connect with you.

LinkedIn is a great way to keep in touch in a low-pressure setting, and you never know when that connection might come in handy!

DO proofread

“Im a detail-oreinted professional that is pasionate about finding alot of innovative ways too grow you’re business.”

Hopefully, that sentence made you cringe.

Nothing gives a sloppier first impression than a profile that is riddled with typos and grammatical errors. LinkedIn does have a spellchecking feature, but you don’t want to make the mistake of relying solely on that.

Break your profile into small sections and proofread each individual piece carefully to ensure that every last sentence is free of mistakes. If you don’t trust yourself to catch your own errors, have a friend go through your profile with a fine-tooth comb to ensure it’s up to par.

First impressions can say a lot, and maintaining a professional personal online presence is key to giving a great impression of both you and your nonprofit. Keep these tips in mind when building your LinkedIn profile to ensure that your first impression doesn’t end up being your last.

Photograph by Nan Palmero.