by Alison Green
LinkedIn can be an incredibly powerful tool for networking, expanding your contacts and even finding jobs, but it has its own unique etiquette land mines. Here are eight of the most common faux pas people make on LinkedIn – and how to make sure that you avoid them.
1. Sending generic connection requests. It was probably a mistake for LinkedIn to provide default text for the connection request emails sent through its system because many people don’t bother to customize it. People who know you well might not mind receiving the default message, but if you’re trying to connect with someone who may not even remember you, it’s smarter to personalize the message and remind the person of how you know each other and why you’re asking to connect. Plus, even if the person does remember you, you’ll make a better impression and solidify the connection by writing something personalized.
6. Filling your summary with subjective self-assessments. Calling yourself a “visionary leader,” “charismatic communicator,” “exceptional marketer” or other highly subjective self-assessments is likely to elicit eye rolls. If those things are true about you, it should be evidence from the accomplishments you list. Let others who know your work effusively praise you. It’s not something that you credibly do yourself.
8. Inflating your experience. It’s bad enough to inflate your experience, skills and accomplishments on your resume. But when you do it on LinkedIn, people who know the truth will see it. If your co-workers or former co-workers look at your profile and see you reporting accomplishments or responsibilities that they know you didn’t have much of a hand in, they will know that you’re lying. It will destroy your credibility, possibly get you gossiped about and make people less likely to vouch for you in the future. Keep it truthful.