The Do's and Don't's of LinkedIn.
Avoid wasting time and damaging your credibility by learning how to effectively use LinkedIn to your advantage.
LinkedIn is the largest online professional network in the world with over 200 million members located across the globe. LinkedIn can not only help you apply for a job but also have several potential employers reach out to you directly without you even sending an application! To ensure this happens, it is essential to learn the things that you need to do and the things that you need to avoid -
1. Personalize your connection requests - A generic "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn." does not really help as much as a personalized note. People are more likely to accept your request and it will create a good impression as you network.
2. Respond to connections quickly - You want to give an impression that you are organized and quick to respond when it comes to your work.
3. Have a professional image as your profile picture - LinkedIn is a professional business network and your profile picture should reflect that. Avoid using any inappropriate photos that can create a bad impression.
4. Endorse your connections for skills - Your connections will be more likely to endorse you for skills if you have done the same for them. Remember to always have a give and take relationship.
5. Join a relevant LinkedIn Group - LinkedIn Groups are a great way to network and be seen by the people you want to reach. Join the one that is relevant to your profession and target industry.
6. Write recommendations for others - You can receive quality recommendations from the people you have worked with if you create one for them as well. This is the same as endorsing your connections for skills except you do not write recommendations for someone you have not worked with.
7. Connect with recruiters in your target industry - Increase your chances of finding a job on LinkedIn in your target industry by connecting with recruiters in them. Send them a personalized note to connect and express your availability and desire to work for them.
8. Complete your profile and keep it current - It is extremely important to always update your profile with your latest work experience, certifications, and other skills. A useful way of doing this is by updating your profile as and when your professional career advances.
9. Make the most out of keywords - Recruiters on LinkedIn are looking for keywords related to their job posting when searching for a potential candidate. You need to include keywords in your headline, career summary and under the description of each work experience.
10. Be honest about your profile and experience - Lying will not just seem unprofessional but will create a bad impression and word spreads quickly in the corporate industry than you may think.
1. Don't spam your connections - Nobody likes spam messages and doing so will not help you in any way. Remember to send messages to your connections that are positioned for their benefit and not yours.
2. Don't ask strangers for recommendations - Don't ask someone to give you a recommendation unless they are your superiors, colleagues, clients, or anyone else whom you have worked with.
3. Don't post too often. Don't post self-promotional content only - Avoid posting multiple times in a day, every day. The ideal range is between 5-7 times a week. Also, avoid posting content that only promotes yourself or your business without providing value to others.
4. Don't let your profile sit inactively - An important way to use LinkedIn effectively is through regular engagement. Engage with others content by liking, commenting and sharing and post content yourself, too so as to network with others and build relationships.
5. Don't send requests more than twice - This applies to connection requests or endorsement and recommendation requests. If the person hasn't done it after receiving two requests, they are most likely not interested in doing it.
6. Don't include jobs that are irrelevant to your industry - When looking for jobs in your target industry it is advisable to exclude jobs that are not relevant as they may not hold importance to recruiters.
7. Don't be afraid to ask for endorsements - Seek quality recommendations and endorsements from your connections and also create them for others as well.
8. Don't use made-up titles to stand out - "Jack of all trades", "Champion", "Business Leader" etc. are examples of made-up titles. They are unprofessional and do not explain what is it that you do exactly.
9. Don't forget to check spelling and grammar - An important element of your LinkedIn Profile. Always be sure to spell-check and look for grammatical mistakes. This will help in maintaining that good professional impression.
10. Don't forget about privacy settings - Privacy settings are there for your protection but this is a social business network and you want to engage with other people. Make your contact list open to connections, make your activity feed open to everyone, and ensure your name and profile is open to everyone. Also, you have the option of editing your public profile and it is important to ensure you have the right information displayed to those outside your connections.
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