LinkedIn Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts

Although more people are using Facebook and Twitter for professional reasons, LinkedIn is still the social media platform of choice for professionals. Improper LinkedIn etiquette can alienate your professional contacts and turn away prospective employers from hiring you. When it comes to LinkedIn etiquette, there are a few protocols to follow.
Profile Picture: LinkedIn profile pictures should not only look professional, but should also match your current appearance, and not your younger self. The photo should also be of you, which means no photos of pets, or photos of you and your spouse.
Status Updates: Keep it fresh! Regularly share an update with relevant news and content, but do not overshare so your contacts feel overloaded – have a reason for sharing an update. Like, share, or comment meaningfully on other people’s content. Because LinkedIn is a professional social media platform, do not share jokes or personal status updates because your connections expect professional behavior.
Personalize Connection Request: When requesting a connection, let the person know where you met them and briefly remind them of what you talked about, instead of using the standard LinkedIn request, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
Join the Conversation: Join LinkedIn groups and actively participate. Start a conversation, answer questions and add value by making meaningful comments. However, before you join any conversation make sure that you have read the group’s rules and guidelines.
Ask for an introduction: It’s perfectly acceptable to ask a contact you know well to make an introduction to another person that you would like to meet. Draft a compelling subject line and a short note that introduces you and clearly states why you would like to connect. Use your judgment when you are asking your contacts for introduction.
Request for Recommendations and Endorsement: Recommendations and endorsements recognize skills, expertise and achievements. Send individual requests for recommendations and endorsement only to people who know your work, otherwise you may be placing some of your contacts in an awkward position. And allow them to decide what they will recommend or endorse you for. And on the other hand, endorse and recommend when it’s appropriate.
Don’t Spam Your Contacts: Being connected to others is a privilege so never do anything to abuse that privilege such as sending mass messages soliciting others to become a part of your multilevel marketing down line, or trying to sell them your real estate services or financial planning services – no sales pitch.
Never Speak Badly of Others: It’s inappropriate to speak badly of colleagues and companies that you have worked for. Your contacts will not view you in a favorable light.
Customize Your Privacy Settings: Change your privacy settings to reflect why you are using LinkedIn. If you are looking for a new job and do not want your current employer to find out, turn off your activity broadcast so you do not leave a footprint of everything you do. If you aren’t concerned about who sees your information, set your profile visibility to “everyone”.
What’s been your experience on LinkedIn? Do you have any other dos or don’ts for LinkedIn users?
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