Blog Assignment #1 (COM0011) Post #6: LinkedIn Etiquette: 5 Ways to Improve Your Virtual Imaga

unwritten rulesLinkedIn is a great professional networking, skills building and job portal. With more than 300 million active users and a wealth of resources to maximize your profile, LinkedIn is a ‘must’ for today’s professional.

Whether you’ve been using LinkedIn for years or just starting to consider opening an account – this blog post is for you! Project the right professional image by following these 5 simple rules:

1.  Choose the Right Profile Photo

Research shows that having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others. Keep your photo clean, up-to-date and professional. This isn’t a dating site and nobody wants to see you cuddling with a cat. Of course, if you’re a pet groomer, that’s a different story…

2.  Personalize Networking Invitations

Would you like if someone barged into your office yelling ‘Here I Am!’ and then quickly walking away? Probably not. But that’s exactly what so many of us do on LinkedIn. It’s important to personalize connection requests – especially to strangers – and avoid sending default messages. By personalizing messages, you have a better chance of connecting with people and starting a conversation. On the other hand, when you send out blank invitations to connect, there’s a much greater chance recipients will click the “Report Spam” or “I Don’t Know This Person” button. Too many complaints will get you tossed into LinkedIn Jail!

3.  Quality Over Quantity

LinkedIn is about building and maintaining legitimate professional relationships. Be strategic about who you add to your network. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, having a solid LinkedIn network is not about how many friends or followers you have but about the quality of your network, the value they can bring to your professional development and vice versa. That said, don’t under-estimate the value of connections outside of your industry. You never know who can introduce you to your next big opportunity!

4.  Asking for Recommendations

LinkedIn’s recommendations feature is a powerful tool to showcase how your work is valued and endorsed by influential people. Again, quality far outweighs quantity. Avoid generic and mass recommendation requests or providing a deadline. Only ask for recommendations from people you’ve worked directly with or who have very positive experiences with your products or services. Another great idea is to write recommendations for others (e.g. vendors, ex-customers, colleagues, etc. so long as they are 1st degree connections.) LinkedIn will automatically prompt them to return the favor and write a recommendation for you.

5. Be Positive! Participating in Group Discussions

LinkedIn groups are a great place to share your thoughts, gain insight into sector topics and make new connections. It’s okay to challenge assumptions and be critical of things you don’t agree with, but it’s also important to be respectful of group members, focus on constructive criticism and celebrate good ideas. Put your best foot forward by sharing your experiences and showcasing your expertise in a positive way.

etiquette

Do you have any other do’s or don’ts for LinkedIn users?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

10 thoughts on “Blog Assignment #1 (COM0011) Post #6: LinkedIn Etiquette: 5 Ways to Improve Your Virtual Imaga

  1. Thank you so much for posting this blog. LinekIn is the next thing that I want to tackle and this provides some very useful information. I like the way you have presented the material, easy follow for newbies! Thanks!!

    • Hey Beth – thank you very much! I think you’ll find LinkedIn user friendly once you get used to it. There’s tonnes of resources on LinkedIn to help you get started. Have fun with it!

  2. Hey Tara, your post was interesting. I do have a LinkedIn account, but don’t really use it. I’d be interested in your thoughts on how to make it more “social” rather than just a professional, don’t say anything controversial, post your resume kind of site? Is it just in the groups? Do people go there to actually interact, or mostly to look for jobs? I’m still trying to figure out how to use LinkedIn to my advantage.

  3. Hi Bea!
    In all honesty, I think LinkedIn weighs in higher for the social element and resource sharing that in does for actual job searches. It does have merits on the job search front and it’s a great resource for finding out about new employment opportunities. However, there’s tonnes of interaction within the different groups and many groups host offline events, promote conference listings and other engagements outside of the virtual world.
    Just to clarify, I think it’s perfectly fine to post critical comments and not always be ‘happy happy’ positive all of the time. What I was getting at was more along the lines of bashing, instigating arguments or posting negative comments that add no value to the conversation and lack the ‘constructive’ element.
    I think the best way to start using LinkedIn to your advantage is to fill out your profile as much as possible, start adding your professional contacts and searching out groups that fit your academic and professional interests. Get the email updates for quick and easy notifications on new discussions and when something sparks your interest log in, start posting your opinions and sharing your experiences.

  4. Greeting Tara – Thanks for the Linked in tips. I just started very recently and I am trying to decide if I find it useful or not. Linked in seems to want to check my email to import contacts, but I have avoided that so far as I think selecting people you want to add one by one works better. I am not looking for a job, but the groups do seem to help me keep up with what is going on in my industry. Currently I am feeling guilty for not yet sorting my contacts into groups using the advanced setting. I am a bit confused about that part. Do most people sort their contacts?

  5. Greetings Tara – Thanks for the Linked in tips. I just started very recently and I am trying to decide if I find it useful or not. Linked in seems to want to check my email to import contacts, but I have avoided that so far as I think selecting people you want to add one by one works better. I am not looking for a job, but the groups do seem to help me keep up with what is going on in my industry. Currently I am feeling guilty for not yet sorting my contacts into groups using the advanced setting. I am a bit confused about that part. Do most people sort their contacts?

  6. Hi there, there are ways to sort through your email list rather than sending out invites to every single person in your contact list. I agree that going through them one by one is the way to go. I remember when I first signed up for LinkedIn and managed to send out a bunch of invites to people I did NOT want to connect with – not a good feeling – so these days I try to be careful what I click on. I haven’t tried to sort my contacts yet. I’ve heard about tagging and glanced at some of the information. From a surface perspective, it looks like a great feature for people who have different professional profiles. I wouldn’t worry too much about what other people are doing. The key thing is whether or not it works for YOU and your network. In my case, it would probably be a really useful feature since I’ve worked in a few different industries and several different countries. Using the tag feature could help target my updates and reduce the useless background noise for people in my network who aren’t directly interested in – or connected in any way – to particular posts.

  7. Very helpful. I need to update my linked in profile. I am also changing careers and need endorsements in my transferrable skills to move me ahead. I will use your tips regarding making connections, recommendations, & endorsement requests.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.