Monday, October 22, 2012

4 Burning Issues Regarding LinkedIn Etiquette

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The newest Endorsement feature on LinkedIn is resulting in a surge of notifications, but do you wonder how to respond? Does it warrant a thank you or response on your behalf? What about reciprocating with a LinkedIn recommendation? Or perhaps you are curious about how to respond to a request to connect from someone you don't know. These are just a few of the many conundrums people face on LinkedIn currently.
1. Do I need to thank someone for an endorsement? LinkedIn's new Endorsements feature is promoted as a way to give kudos with one click. Yet, if it is so simple to give, what does it really indicate? Is it valid to measure someone's skills if there is no context assigned? And why can any connection be qualified to make these endorsements? The feature raises many issues, but the better question is, do these endorsements justify your response? Old-fashioned etiquette would say, yes, you can and probably should thank someone in a message through LinkedIn. However, that takes time and effort; more time and effort than it took the person to endorse you. If you chose to return the favor and endorse them, that is another option and decision you can make. If you do decide to send a thank you, know that it will probably be one of very few the recipient receives. What memorable impression will that have?
2. Someone wrote a recommendation for me. Do I need to return the favor? Often people use the "give to get" principle to entice someone to write a return recommendation. Does this mean you must accept and post their endorsement as well as write one for them too? If you did not ask for their recommendation, it is up to you to decide how and if you want to make it visible on your profile. Also note that if there are typos or if the message isn't quite to your liking, you can ask for the author to modify what they've written. If you feel comfortable and confident enough to write a recommendation of their work, then you could return the favor. However, you are not obligated to do so. In either case, you should thank the individual for their recommendation.

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