Want to expand your network and cultivate new connections? LinkedIn is the perfect site for you! But be warned: LinkedIn can be a tricky road to navigate if you’re new to the platform or don’t know how to use it. Fact is, many people don’t have proper LinkedIn etiquette and it’s hindering their networking potential. Here are the Top 10 dos and don’ts of LinkedIn so you can have an All-Star account and grow your brand.
- Have a good profile picture. If you want to make connections, people have to know who you are! A good photo is the first step to having an expert LinkedIn account. Your profile picture should be a headshot and make it as professional as possible.
- Be professional. This just in: LinkedIn is a professional site. Your account should read like an online resume. LinkedIn is not the place to bash pervious companies or complain about your alma mater. Actually, no social media platform is.
- Connect, connect, connect! LinkedIn is all about connections and you should be too! Look up your colleagues, peers and friends and send them a connection request. Having connections says a lot about the strength of your profile and your network in real-life.
- Look for jobs. Did you know LinkedIn has a job search database? If you’re seeking employment, try LinkedIn. Discover hundreds of jobs near you and learn about the company all in one website.
- Be prompt. If someone reaches out to you on LinkedIn, respond to them as soon as you can. On this site it is unprofessional to leave a message unread or a potential connection hanging.
- Don’t treat LinkedIn like Facebook. LinkedIn is unlike any other social networking site, meaning it’s not a good idea to treat LinkedIn like Facebook or Twitter and certainly not Instagram. Don’t make a status about your dog or the new show on Netflix you’re binge-watching. Remember, this is a professional networking site and it should be treated as such.
- Don’t spam. Seriously, this is the worst. Don’t send out self-serving messages or updates. Your connections aren’t interested in things that don’t relate to them.
- Don’t neglect it. Update your account often. The more of your professional history you add to your LinkedIn profile, the better it’ll be and the more likely your peers will connect with you.
- Don’t overshare. Your LinkedIn account shouldn’t be too personal. Try to stick to one or two industry related or professional posts per day.
- Don’t ask for endorsements from people you don’t know. Although LinkedIn is a place to make new connections, endorsements on your profile should come from people you know personally. Don’t ask people who can’t speak on your character or business acumen to endorse you. It’s kind of creepy, to be honest.
Implementing these tips will take your account from beginner to All-Star in no time. Pro tip: A good rule of thumb for LinkedIn etiquette is to display what you would want your future employer to see, because they’re probably watching.