Basic Guide to LinkedIn Etiquette

How much do you really know about LinkedIn? Yes, it is one of the most popular methods of networking in the business world. Yes, you can scout out potential jobs on it.  But how exactly do you create the ideal profile? What do you include and what don’t you? What’s the best way to connect with people? After three years of self-teaching, I’ve learned some essential Do’s and Don’ts for Linked-In.   

So what exactly is LinkedIn?

  • Known by many as the “non-sexy” giant of all the social networks due to its main focus on professionalism.
  • Common uses: find jobs, network with professionals, research hot topics and trends, and search various industries and universities based on career interest.
  • Three main objectives from LinkedIn itself:
    • Build your professional identity online and stay in touch with classmates, coworkers, and more.
    • Discover professional opportunities, business deals, and new ventures.
    • Get the latest news, inspiration, and insights you need to be great at what you do.

Time to Build Your PROFILE:

  • The higher your profile completeness, the better you will appear in various search results.
    • For example, if you include in your skills section “event management” and a prospective employer searches “event management” in LinkedIn, you are more likely to show up in the search.
    • Include a professional head shot.
    • Have a minimum of 50 connections.
      • This may seem like a daunting number, but once you connect with a few people you know LinkedIn will automatically recommend other people and connections for you!
      • You can also synch your profile with you email contacts.
    • Include work samples or projects.
    • Have a minimum of 5 skills listed.
The Etiquette of LinkedIn

Updates and Engagement

Once you create your profile it is important to continue to engage with your connections and to constantly update your profile.

  • Engagement can occur in various ways:
    • Share articles that you find to be interesting.
    • Update your status (this can also be linked with your twitter account, so every time you tweet it can post on LinkedIn as well).
    • Join various groups and communicate with group members.
    • Remember that this is suppose to be professional, so do not update your relationship status, where you are on vacation, or your latest fight with a friend like you would on Facebook or Twitter.

Onto Searching for a Job…

  • Most people use LinkedIn to find jobs or recruit for jobs.
  • When filling out an application on a company’s website, you can do so by connecting to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Check out the “Jobs” tab and then click on the option for “applicants.” You can then perform an advance search to help better cater to your choice of location, company, industry, etc.
  • Recruiters for various companies also have premium profiles so they can scout talent through LinkedIn.

What about that Premium/ Upgrade Account?

  • For $19.95 a month LinkedIn users can upgrade their account. But why?
  • Benefits:
    • InMail. It allows you to message people who you are not connected with. However, even with the upgrade, you are limited with the amount of InMail’s you can send a month.
    • You have access to more search results.
    • You can access additional tools for organizing your profile.

Personally, I do not recommend upgrading unless you are a recruiter. The free and basic version has all the necessary tools to connect with potential employers and to display professional profile. 

LinkedIn Protocol: Do’s and Don’t’s

When using LinkedIn DO:

  • Personalize your request to connect. Don’t randomly click “colleague, friend, etc.” Sometimes people will report this as spam, and if it happens enough, you can be banned from LinkedIn for a brief period of time.
  • Always keep it professional. From your profile picture to the articles you share, it is imperative to stay as professional as possible.
  • Respond to messages within 1-2 days. If you wait longer than that most people will not respond back.

When using LinkedIn DON’T:

  • Send spam messages.
  • Over post. Once again this is not Facebook or Twitter. Keep is simple and professional.
  • Use LinkedIn as a way to gain more “likes” on Facebook or followers on Twitter.
  • Let your profile be inactive for more than a week. Post weekly to keep your connections up to date with what is going on.

While there is more to know and learn about LinkedIn, these basic tips and tools should help you get started with creating and maintaining your LinkedIn profile! 


There are currently one response.

February 6, 2015

It was very informative.


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