LinkedIn Etiquette: The Dos And Don'ts

Woman looking up at LinkedIn logo

If you’re searching for a job and you’re on LinkedIn, then you have a better chance of getting hired compared to someone who isn’t. And, according to LinkedIn’s 2015 US Recruiting Trends report, the use of social professional networks as the number one source of quality hires.

LinkedIn has become one of the best online networking tools, and that is no coincidence. It is on its own an effective marketing tool. It helps you introduce and promote yourself to potential employers, clients, and business partners. But connecting with other people isn’t the only thing you can do with LinkedIn. It also helps you learn more about potential employers and current trends in your industry and even helps you expand your knowledge by exchanging information and ideas with other professionals.

As with everything else, there’s a right and a wrong way of using LinkedIn, and you need to learn to do it the right way if you want to give your job search efforts a boost. But how do you go about doing that? How can you make the most out of LinkedIn and avoid the most common pitfalls at the same time?


The Dos

1. Use an Appropriate Photo

Your profile picture is the first thing a potential employer or business partner will notice when they come to your profile, and it is, therefore, absolutely necessary that you get it right. People want to see who they’re connecting with, so make sure you add one. And it’s not about how pretty you look but rather how professional you look that will make you an attractive candidate, so avoid uploading that super sexy beach photo of you.

2. Share Industry-Relevant Content

LinkedIn is a professional social network, and it’s nothing like Facebook or Twitter. That means that you should only post industry-relevant content that your connections will find useful. Doing so will keep your network interested in what you have to say and it will show them that you know what you’re doing.

3. Respond Promptly

Any comments, requests and messages you receive should be responded to as soon as possible. A delayed response by one or two days is fine, but anything longer than that really isn’t as it shows that you’re not reliable. Keeping someone wait, especially for a long time, might mean losing out on a great once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

4. Nurture Relationships

One of the main reasons you have LinkedIn is to make new contacts. But maintaining those connections is just as important as making that first move to introduce yourself. If you want others to take you seriously, and perhaps consider you for a position in the future, you have to make an effort to maintain your connections. That’s because building relationships is vital in any business. When someone celebrates a work anniversary or birthday, congratulate them or wish them “Happy birthday”.

The Don’ts

1. Get Too Personal

Nobody wants to know how you eat your eggs in the morning, so you should never treat LinkedIn as Facebook. Posting photos of your lunch or discussing something you don’t want your colleagues or other professionals to know just isn’t the right way to go.

2. Stalk People

In case you didn’t already know, people can see that you’ve looked at their profile. So try to keep yourself looking at an employer’s profile on a daily basis, unless, of course, you don’t mind coming off as a creep.

3. Post Negative Comments

There’s no use telling your entire network how disappointed and frustrated you are that you didn’t get the job you were after, and criticizing an employer on LinkedIn for the decision is unprofessional and simply unnecessary. Nobody wants to work with a naysayer or someone who’s most likely to badmouth their future colleagues. You’ll only hinder your chances of getting a job.

4. Send Generic Invitations

On LinkedIn, your first attempt to connect with other professionals counts. Your invitation is your ticket to making a great first impression, and to do that, you should customize each invitation you send out. Explain why you’re reaching out to someone or even compliment their work.

See Also: 10 Embarrassing Things People Have Done on LinkedIn

There’s no use of having a LinkedIn profile if you’re never going to use it, right? Before you start applying for jobs, make sure that you customize your profile in order to get found for the right opportunities.

Have you made these changes yet? What else can you do to make yourself a more desirable candidate on LinkedIn? Share your tips and tricks with us in the comments section below!

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