LinkedIn Etiquette

10 Critical Don’ts of LinkedIn Networking!

The power of social media can either help your career or hinder it – whether you are looking for a job, a client or advice. As an active LinkedIn member, I see many people confusing the purpose of LinkedIn with other social media platforms. Here are my top 10 things NOT to do on LinkedIn:

  1. Don’t use unprofessional photos suitable for Facebook or a cheesy shot talking on the phone trying to look important as your profile picture. Invest in positive self-branding by selecting a professional headshot, with an outfit that suits your career and projects how you want to be perceived by potential peers, clients or employers.

  2. Don’t post irrelevant news, pictures or jokes. LinkedIn isn’t the right place for such activities and it can put off your connections.

  3. Don’t use LinkedIn as a platform to voice personal opinions about politics, traditions or other sensitive topics as this can also drive away potential connections. LinkedIn is a business platform where you share industry-related information and connect with like-minded people.

  4. Don’t push your connections to like or comment on an article or a post you have written. If your content is relevant and good quality then people will do so naturally. Pushing for it may encourage your contacts to remove you or at the least lose their professional respect towards you

  5. Don’t request recommendations from people who didn’t really work with you. This puts them in an awkward position. Even if they do write a recommendation for you their respect for you will be diminished and this may come through in how they describe you to other connections

  6. Don’t volunteer an endorsement of people you don’t know well as professionals. LinkedIn is not about “I scratch your back, so you scratch mine”. Future connections will wonder about your level of ethics if they discover you have endorsed others without even knowing them. The professional you flattered will also not respect your easy endorsement. Either way it is your credibility that is damaged

  7. Don’t make fun of someone else’s post. Politely disagree if it is a business discussion and show your knowledge of a topic by explaining your point of view in a calm way

  8. Don’t publish false data or imaginary jobs. This will affect your personal branding negatively when people realise your resume is not real.
 Misrepresenting yourself online will also backfire when it comes to applying for future roles and passing background reviews of your work history

  9. Don’t polish your profile so much that it is no longer you. Keep it real and honest. People respect and seek out authenticity

  10. Don’t bombard your connections with meaningless updates to stay “top of mind”. Posting too frequently reduces the value of what you have to say to the level of spam and your connections will tune you out over time. Ensure that all your posts are clearly thought through and have value for your audience.

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