If you want to network professionally today, you have to be on LinkedIn. And, just as in face-to-face interactions, there are some specific no-no’s when it comes to communication and collaboration on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn hangs its hat on being the most businesslike of the major public social networks, and many people who would never dream of liking something on Facebook or tweeting status updates on Twitter will participate on LinkedIn. Many people, on the other hand, are pros at using social networks and might think of LinkedIn as just one more. That would be a mistake. One of the biggest missteps people make on LinkedIn is treating it like any other social network. Think of it like flip-flops: Would you wear them to a job interview? Probably not. Likewise, you shouldn’t do the virtual equivalent of kicking off your shoes on LinkedIn.
Another way in which people sometimes falter on LinkedIn is by taking advantage of their connections. Yes, it’s really cool that you are directly connected to the CEO of your company, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should direct message her on the network. And just because you have, say, 500 connections, it doesn’t mean that you should be sending out 500 requests for recommendations. As in real-life business situations, discretion, judiciousness and courtesy should guide your interactions on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has been making many changes to its interface lately, and some of the features have been met with more enthusiasm than others. Endorsements have been a particularly prickly subject, with many people believing they are meaningless or manipulative. It’s important to keep abreast of changes to LinkedIn’s platform, and to develop an understanding of how new features are being used and perhaps even abused. You don’t want to be the one in breach of some unwritten rule. Two other mistakes people tend to make on LinkedIn are to do too much or to do nothing at all.
In trying to get into the spirit of using LinkedIn, it can be easy to go overboard updating your status, requesting connections and joining groups. But watch out. These activities can be perceived as spamming your connections.
Doing nothing, on the other hand, can be even more problematic because it renders you almost invisible and negates the very purpose of being on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is one of the most powerful networking tools out there, and it grows in power as more people see it as the de facto professional social network. Doing nothing can be the worst LinkedIn no-no of all.
1) Don’t Be Promiscuous With Endorsements
With just a click of a button, you can endorse the skills and expertise of people you are connected to on LinkedIn. But that doesn’t mean you should. Have you actually experienced this person’s skills and expertise first-hand? For that matter, have you actually ever met the person whose skills and expertise you are endorsing? Do you expect something in return? If you answer no, no and yes to these questions, an endorsement will do you more harm than good.
2) Don’t Ask Everyone And His Brother For A Recommendation
As in the non-LinkedIn world, it should be considered a big deal to ask for a recommendation, and it should be a big deal to be asked to give a recommendation. Don’t blanket everyone you are connected to with a request to recommend you. You’ll put people who don’t know your work well in an awkward position, and the recommendations you do get won’t be as meaningful as if you had asked in a more pointed way
8) Don’t Do Nothing
Doing anything too much — whether it’s updating or messaging or liking or whatever — isn’t good, but doing nothing at all might be worse, at least when it comes to your career. On LinkedIn, why wouldn’t you keep your profile updated, update your status with relevant news and content, connect with people you have met at conferences, and join and participate in industry-specific groups? When it comes to any social network, one of the biggest no-no’s is to do nothing at all.
LinkedIn and job hunting – a match made in heaven
Can your LinkedIn profile help you land your ideal job? Yes, it very well can. Considering the fact thatLinkedIn is the single largest social media platform that specializes on business networking, putting an impressive profile in this network can significantly increase your chances of getting discovered by job recruiters and employers alike.
However, since there are millions of people who are also trying their luck in finding a job through the site, you need to create an outstanding profile and optimize it accordingly to get found by the right people. If you are absolutely clueless on how to accomplish this goal, here are some tips that may help you.
Use a powerful profile headline. For the record, a simple and direct headline or personal tag line is all you need. You can develop an effective personal brand by describing the services and the qualities you can offer without going over the top. Avoid using buzzwords such as extensive experience, innovative, motivated, results oriented and dynamic, to name a few, since they are really quite overused. Tip: Consider branding yourself on who you want to be seen to increase your chances of landing your dream job.
Highlight important details. Write a compelling profile summary to build your readers’ interest and urge them to know more about you and what you can bring to the table. Keep in mind that the topmost part of your profile is the most important so try to make it more substantial and interesting.
Use industry keywords. Increase your chances of getting found by job recruiters and employers alike by optimizing your profile for the search engines. However, avoid overdoing it or Google may penalize you for keyword stuffing.
Be wise in using recommendations. In this case, more is not necessarily better. Consider featuring only the best or most recent recommendations and keep the rest away from the public to keep your profile clean. If you don’t have any experience relevant to the job you are seeking, consider asking for recommendations from your professors and classmates. You can also ask for recommendations that highlight your work ethics instead.
By Mike Allton
Skills & Expertise
LinkedIn continues to be cited as one of the top sites for sales professionals, recruiters, and job seekers. Is the site continuing its’ explosive growth? LinkedIn recorded 4.2 billion professionally oriented searches on the platform in 2011 and is on pace to surpass 5.3 billion in 2012. Additionally, they’ve added 1,000 employees this year. Yeah, that’s growth.
We’ve been working with the Minnesota Recruiters community on publishing some great content for job seekers and recruiters. 2 of the most recent posts include 25 social media tips from Recruiters and 50 job search tips. The focus for this article is LinkedIn and goes beyond the basic tips of using a professional photo.. Here are 29 LinkedIn tips everyone should use:
- Looking for a promotion or ideas to advance in your current role? Use LinkedIn to search for people and titles of the jobs you’re interested in. This is great research for what skills you’ll need to obtain.
- Use the CardMunch app for growing your network and LinkedIn connections. It’s quick and easy – use it for every person you meet and business card you receive.
- Use spellcheck. As Steve Levy told me in a recent call, you don’t want the word moron added to your skills inventory. A great example of this: Are you the “Director of Pubic Relations”, or the “Director of Public Relations”.
- Create a more compelling summary. Many LinkedIn profiles lack information in the summary which is near the top of the profile. This is a quick way to stand out from others on the site.
- Take initiative beyond connecting. Don’t be afraid to ask for a call, a meeting, an informational meeting, or interview .
- Write and include a creative headline in your profile.
- Stay up-to-date with your network and use the site often. Don’t just engage with your network when you need something. Give back, frequently.
- There are now more than 2.6 million company pages. Use the company search function and use the results to research and connect with employees from target companies and follow their pages.
- Save time by signing up for job alerts – and let the site do the searching for you.
- Clearly articulate the value and impact you have made in current and past positions.
- Include specific information throughout your profile (context of roles, location, direct contact info, etc.).
- Connect your LinkedIn profile from other sites you use (twitter, facebook, blogs, about.me, etc.).
- Keep the skills section of your profile updated throughout the year.