do's and don'ts of using linkedin

LinkedIn Etiquette: The Do’s And Don’ts Of Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn Etiquette: The Do’s And Don’ts Of Using LinkedIn

The basic rules of etiquette and politeness apply on LinkedIn as they do everywhere else but the platform brings plenty of its own dilemmas about what’s a faux pas and what isn’t.

Is it okay to connect with people you don’t know? Can you post too much? Are you being too intrusive? What can you say about previous employers on your profile?

In this post we’re going to look at some of the big do’s and don’ts of LinkedIn etiquette so that you can get around with confidence.

Good LinkedIn Etiquette:

1. Do Check Your Profile Regularly

LinkedIn shouldn’t take over your life but you do need to be sure that you’re accepting connect requests and replying to messages promptly.

If you can, then post updates or comments at least once a day. LinkedIn isn’t just there for when you’re in need of a new job and accounts are rewarded with increased exposure when they are regularly used.

Discover how often to update your LinkedIn for best effect here.

2. Do Treat LinkedIn Like A Work Environment

LinkedIn is a platform for networking with other professionals and while you needn’t be overly formal – you also don’t want to treat it like a personal Facebook account.

When posting, assume that colleagues, peers, and employers both future and past will see what you’re putting out into the world.  The idea is to improve your professional brand and to create more opportunities.

3. Do Create A Personalised Introduction When Connecting With People

Even if you’ve known someone for twenty years, it’s always important to give out a personalised introduction when you ask them to connect to your network.

Make sure the person you want to add understands who you are, why you want to connect, and doesn’t feel you are simply using them to advance your career.

4. Do Keep Your Profile Up To Date

Your LinkedIn profile should always be current when it comes to achievements, education, and your current position. It will be obvious if you haven’t updated your account in a year or two and this can even create confusion if you’ve moved on in that time.

5. Do Bring Your Personality Out

Your LinkedIn profile is your profile and not the profile of the company you work for. Even if you’re using LinkedIn to recruit new talent or to find clients – your profile should have a sense of personality and make sure that your journey stands out from the journey of a company you work for.

This will help to make your profile stand out, it will make you more approachable, and it won’t make your profile seem like a corporate marketing ploy.

6. Do Respect Other People’s Privacy

‘Privacy’ here doesn’t just mean respecting people’s right to keep their personal information offline but also their right to be left alone.

Many profiles mention how they want to be contacted by new people and you should avoid inviting people to join LinkedIn via your email address list unless you’ve discussed it with them beforehand.  

LinkedIn Faux Pas:

1. Don’t Wait To Connect With People

If you meet a new person and want to connect with their network, then do so within the next day or two. There’s no need to wait for them to approach you first.

Waiting several days or even a week can make your invitation look like an afterthought or it makes you appear unorganised.

2. Don’t Treat LinkedIn Like A CV

A CV or resume exists to show an employer all of your technical credentials and a thorough list of your past roles and experiences. LinkedIn exists to tell your story to the world and to give a quick snapshot of what you’re about.

Avoid overloading your profile with information from past roles or being too impersonal with the information that you do include. If you wouldn’t stop to read it, then no one else will.

If you want help finding a job with LinkedIn, then check out the 8 most important steps to getting a new job using LinkedIn.

3. Don’t Post Compromising Updates Or Messages

While this may seem like an obvious point, it still needs stating as many people seem to struggle with it.

Avoid making comments or posting updates that are potentially offensives, divisive, or put you in a bad light. This isn’t necessarily the best platform for publishing that type of content. If you do want to take a stand on a topic, then make sure any post you make is thoughtful and considered.

4. Don’t Waste People’s Time

If you’re in the habit of posting pointless updates or not valuing other user’s time with your comments and messages, then you may quickly find that you are being hidden from other people’s feeds.

Always keep in mind how much value you are offering people with your LinkedIn actions and content.

5. Don’t Take Credit For Other People’s Work

Earlier we said that you shouldn’t treat your LinkedIn profile like a CV and one of the big differences is that more people than HR or your employer will be reading your profile.

Make sure that any claims you make on LinkedIn are entirely accurate and that you aren’t crediting yourself with achievements that you can’t lay claim to.

6. Don’t Add Everyone Or Give Out Too Many Recommendations

It’s tempting to grow your network as quickly as possible and to give out hundreds of recommendations in exchange for a few glowing recommendations of your own.

However, not only can this be irritating for other users but you risk looking desperate if you have a network filled with people you don’t know and your recommendations may appear hollow if you have given out twenty similar ones.

Conclusion: Memorise These Do’s And Don’ts Of Using LinkedIn

Finding your feet on LinkedIn requires you to be authentic, to be thoughtful about your content and profile, and to make sure that you respect other users on the website.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions or make mistakes, but do be sensible about what you post.

If you’re like help to make sure that your profile is as captivating and professional as possible, then get in touch with GettResults for a free profile analysis.