LinkedIn: Dos and Don’ts

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[Raymond Adekolu | Contributing Writer]

Have you ever wondered what to do on LinkedIn, to maximize your success in connecting with others? In what follows, you with discover the five mistakes people make on LinkedIn that are killing their success when connecting with others, and five things that you can adopt to improve your success in connecting with others.

1) Do: have a professional profile picture

I know this sounds like common sense, but it seems as though common sense isn’t very common amongst LinkedIn users. LinkedIn is a business social network, and if you wish to connect with other professionals, you want to show that you’re serious, by having a professional profile picture. So what is a professional profile picture? There is no exact ideal to adopt, however, having a headshot, wearing professional clothing, and a smile will help. Also, a monotone or blurred background is best, as it allows the individual in the photo to be the focal point of the image, and yes, this implies that you should be the subject of the image. Although it’s nice to have a picture with loved ones, your profile picture should exclusively feature you.

2) Do: keep it professional at all times.

LinkedIn is a business social network, as mentioned earlier, and people expect everything – messages, recommendations, etc. – to be professional at all times. So asking somebody which hair dye they used, is not acceptable. Furthermore, near the end of 2013, 93 per cent of the recruiters out there used LinkedIn to examine candidates. So, if you want to leave a good impression on your employer(s), keep everything professional, at all times.

3) Do: disable notifications when revamping your profile

I am sure it can be quite frustrating when your notification tab constantly buzzes when one of your connections updates their profile. To prevent your connections being notified whenever you decide to revamp your LinkedIn profile, disable your notifications. In addition, you can dedicate one day (or week) to revamping your profile, thus eliminating the need to constantly disable your notifications.

4) Do: welcome any new connections.

You did not connect with somebody by accident so send your new connections a welcome message, to start a dialogue. Ensure this welcome message is valuable, to increase the chances of getting a response. There are several ways to send a valuable welcome message; you can refer them to an article you have viewed that you think they may be interested in, or you could simply compliment them on their credentials.

5) Do: introduce connections to each other

Do to others what you wish to be done to you. In other words, connecting people with each other is a great way to gain referrals. If you feel that one of your contacts could benefit from a particular connection, then do them the honours of connecting them with that person.

What you should not do

1) Don’t: send spam messages

There is no better way to repel your connections than to send them self-serving messages. All messages must always be positioned for the benefit of those you are connecting with, not your own.

2) Don’t: criticize others or comment negatively in groups

LinkedIn groups are a great place to make new connections so refrain from any negative commentary, which will ultimately repel others.

3) Don’t’: ask people to like your Facebook page

One of the biggest LinkedIn mistakes is begging random people to like your Facebook page. It can be excused if, after building a strong relationship with somebody, you also wish to connect with them on Facebook, but do not send a message, asking: “Please like my Facebook page.”

4) Don’t: Send messages with, “I see you viewed my profile…”

This has to be the creepiest message you can send to somebody. Viewing somebody’s profile does not mean anything. However, if you wish to connect with that person, then send them a message that is tailored to them, and that does not include: “I see you viewed my profile.”

5) Don’t: ask new connections or people you don’t know to endorse you

Although random people may endorse you all the time, do not commit the mistake of asking for endorsements from those you don’t know. Do not send messages like: “I’ve just endorsed your skills can you now endorse mine?” After receiving a notification, that you have endorsed them, they will surely endorse you if they wish to. Do not ask others to endorse your skills, unless you know them well.

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