LinkedIn recently crossed 200M users worldwide. If you have ever done some ego surfing (searching for your own name on search engines), you will notice that your LinkedIn profile is most probably the first link which appears (provided you have created one). Recruiters are increasingly turning to LinkedIn for searching for right candidates to play critical roles in organizations.
LinkedIn is a very powerful social media platform for establishing individual brand authority and also to generate business leads.
So there is no doubt that every professional must have a thoughtfully created LinkedIn profile. However, simply creating a profile is not the end of the story. You need to be active and participative there to create a strong personal brand. How and what to do – I will cover that in the coming blog posts.
In this particular post, we will look at 10 things which you definitely SHOULD NOT be doing on LinkedIn.
#1: Incomplete Profile
Once you decide to be present on LinkedIn, invest some time in completing your profile. It
does not matter whether you are a fresher or an experienced person, you need to have a properly completed profile. Include details about your education, companies you have worked with and don’t forget to elaborate on the role you played at those companies. Include specialties which differentiate you. If you want people to contact you, don’t forget to include the best way to reach you.
#2: Canned Connection Requests
When you are sending a connection request to someone, don’t be lazy and just send the standard invite. Mention in your invite as to why you think there will be value in connecting. People don’t like connection requests from unknown people but if the request is personalized, there is a great chance that you will end up making a valuable professional connection on LinkedIn.
#3: Getting Everyone on Connection List
I personally do not accept every connection request which comes to me. I would like to get value and at the same time, offer some value to the people I am connected with on LinkedIn. I also refrain myself from sending bulk connection requests to people.
#4: Mindless Status Updates
Status update is for sharing important information or updates with your connections. One needs to pay a close attention as to what the connections will appreciate and like to hear. Don’t post mindless status updates about how you are feeling or give live commentary of an ongoing game on LinkedIn.
#5: Improper Use of Like Feature
LinkedIn’s Like is a very robust feature. Here is how it works: If person A ‘Likes’ a particular status update from person B, that status update is shown to all the connections of Person A even if none of them are connected with Person B. I highly recommend people to use the Like feature very judiciously to share interesting articles, updates or job openings. Unfortunately, most of the Likes I have seen are either for motivational quotes or profile photo changes of people!
#6: Superficial Recommendations
Before LinkedIn launched the endorse features, ‘Recommendations’ was the way people could praise each other’s capabilities on LinkedIn. I suggest that offer recommendations to only those people about whom you really have something praiseworthy to say. Mention your own personal experience. Don’t just go on mentioning the bio data of the person you are recommending. Superficial recommendations will do more harm to your own profile than to the person whom you are giving and may make you lose your own credibility.
#7: Ignoring Messages in Inbox
Treat your LinkedIn Inbox as important as your official email. Frequently check messages there. You can get an email alert when someone sends you message on LinkedIn. Don’t ignore that. Make sure you respond to all the relevant messages and maintain professionalism.
#8: Spamming the Groups with Senseless Discussions
LinkedIn has very aptly given the name ‘Discussions’ for the discussions which happen in the group. Remember that Groups are not the places for you to do your personal blog promotion. No harm in posting a link to your blog article but not for promotion but to invite views and ideas or if you truly think that you have something very valuable to share with fellow group members. Discussions necessarily mean that it has to be a two-way communication than a one-way bombarding of messages. If at all you want to promote something, there is a separate Promote tab available in Groups and you can use that.
#9: Irrelevant Responses to Group Discussions
Taking ahead the point discussed in point #8 above, don’t join Groups with a sole purpose of promoting yourself or your business. When you see any discussion where you can contribute, share knowledge honestly. No harm in promoting your products and services where the discussion owner is seeking some help and your products/ services offer the solution. But don’t do a mechanical copy /paste job of posting your company blurb in all the discussions. You will not only lose credibility but can also get banned from the groups or from LinkedIn as well.
Just because you are connected on LinkedIn, it does not give you right to add email addresses of all your connections to your email database and send marketing communication to them. I personally find it very irritating. If I truly want to hear from a particular company, I will go ahead and subscribe for emails/ newsletters from that company’s website. One does not need LinkedIn for that. Similarly, use the email feature in LinkedIn cautiously and don’t spam people’s inboxes with every little news item at your end.
Well, it does looks like a long list of recommendations. But social world, just like the real life world, requires you to follow some etiquette. Follow some simple rules and maintain the spirit of social media.