As a college career advisor and a professional LinkedIn profile writer, I help students get from the classroom to the workplace. My success relies on my understanding what hiring managers look for when recruiting and retaining candidates. And I recently learned some interesting statistics to show that they are paying more attention to candidate behavior.

In their book, The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility Is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It, Christine Pearson and Christine Porath suggest that the costs associated with inappropriate behavior are as much as $50,000 per employee.

Bad behavior can be more costly and problematic in an organization than lack of technical skill. And a poor hiring decision can impact an organization’s culture long after the offending individual and company part ways.

What Your LinkedIn Profile Says About You

Your LinkedIn profile does more than summarize your experience and skills. It can also reveal a lot about how you will behave in the workplace—something that can take you from top candidate to highest risk.

Hiring managers want to know if you’re the kind of person people want to work with: will you improve or diminish morale? Will you build relationships or damage existing ones? Organizations want to hire candidates who

  • Help others do their jobs

  • Reflect well on the organization

  • Show respect and courtesy to everyone, regardless of their rank or status

Here are tips on using LinkedIn strategically to ensure your profile reflects your business etiquette positively.

Help Others with a Clear, Concise Profile

Good business etiquette means not wasting anyone’s time, which you can avoid by communicating clearly.

To show you respect others’ time

  • Keep your profile straightforward. It shows you are respectful of other people’s time and can communicate succinctly.

  • Focus your summary and making it brief. Don’t be overly wordy.

  • Provide measurable results to support your accomplishments. For example, how did you increase profitability, or decrease administrative overhead?

  • Avoid jargon. Everyone should understand your profile—even by those who work in a different field.

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Show You Are an Asset to a Business’ Reputation

The reputation of any organization is shaped by those who regularly interact with a company’s stakeholders. Organizations pay attention the impression people make.

To send a positive message

  • Have a professional headshot and be sure your profile is devoid of typos.

  • Showcase your best work by posting examples of video, slide presentations, and articles or teaching materials you have developed.

  • Highlight membership in professional organizations to show you stay on top of changes in your field and that you have a network of professional support.

  • Share articles and advice with group members. It often results in networking invitations, and positively reflects on both yours and your current employer’s reputation.

  • Mention volunteer work as evidence of your motivation and relationships with others.

Having a complete profile also suggests you will be an asset to an employers reputation. It shows that you take your reputation seriously as well.

Showcase Your People Skills: Have Diverse Contacts and Treat Them Courteously

Employers look for candidates with people skills. How will you treat clients, colleagues, and management? The size of your network and how you interact with those in it reflects on your people skills.

To showcase diversity

  • Keep your network diverse. Show that you have formed relationships with people from various backgrounds and roles.

  • Include recommendations from people you supervised, colleagues, and your current or former supervisor. This will give a more complete, 360-degree view of how you work with people.

  • Don’t ask networking contacts to do favors for you or if their employer has positions to fill. Offer to help them instead until you have established a relationship with them.

  • Recommend those who ask so they will do the same for you.

Mary Soroko is the student development director and a career development counselor for the Herberger Business School. She is a certified etiquette coach by the International Society of Protocol and Etiquette Professionals.

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