Creating a LinkedIn profile, and knowing how to interact with your connections, isn’t always as simple as it seems. The information you include—or exclude—could affect your career growth, as well as your overall professional identity online.
The social network is a great place to showcase your achievements and build a network of professional contacts, but there are definitely some etiquette dos and don’ts to follow to ensure you are presenting yourself in the most positive light.
Follow these tips to avoid LinkedIn etiquette blunders!
- Include a profile picture. Investing in a photographer to take professional headshots is worth the investment. It’s the first thing people notice when they visit your LinkedIn profile.
- Complete your profile. Add your professional info, website address, honors and awards, interests, groups, etc. Also include widgets to pull in content such as your reading list, events, and your business blog.
- Give and receive recommendations. Utilize the recommendations feature to request endorsements from business contacts. While it’s great to be recognized, it’s important that you also recommend others. In good LinkedIn etiquette: what goes around—comes around.
- Join groups. LinkedIn allows you to connect with people who are in the same group as you are. But don’t just join: contribute and add value.
- Post regular status updates. Updating your LinkedIn status is a great way to stay on your network’s radar.
- Tailor your messages. When inviting someone to your network, take the time to personalize your message. Within a few seconds you can include a personal note to a contact that replaces the auto-generated “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn).
- Don’t add people you don’t know. While it’s great to have a large professional network, requesting a connection to a stranger will devalue the real connections you have. Add only the people you truly have a real connection with—whether you’ve been introduced in person or online.
- Don’t post an inappropriate photo. LinkedIn is not Facebook and humorous photos are not appropriate in your profile. Keep it professional.
- Don’t overlook grammar and spelling. LinkedIn is a great place to promote yourself and misspelled words are not going to make your personal brand shine.
- Don’t use automated invites. Add a personal message to the invitation.
- Don’t be spammy. This should go without saying, but avoid posting over-promotional comments on your LinkedIn page. LinkedIn is not the venue for peddling your latest product.
- Don’t ask for LinkedIn endorsements from people you don’t know. In real life, it would be a strange networking move to ask for a testimonial from a stranger. The same applies here.