When used well, LinkedIn is a powerful business networking community and tool. I personally am more apt to accept a LinkedIn invitation to connect than Facebook. However, there are some pet peeves I have about LinkedIn. Here are my top 5 don’ts, in no particular order:
Sending generic invitations to connect: I’ve received dozens of invitations to connect via LinkedIn. In the past, I would automatically accept invitations, even from complete strangers. However, as LinkedIn members have become more aggressive with emails and connections, I evaluate each request carefully. One mistake is not customizing the canned invitation. Take 2 minutes to explain why you want to connect – prospective partnership, mentorship, job hunting, etc. Otherwise, I will click on reject versus accept.
Incomplete and boring profiles: Yes, I have to admit that my profile is slightly out of date for my current position With that said, my profile is more than just a listing of positions I’ve held over the past 15 years. It needs to read more than just a timeline. Rather, I’ve taken time to consider who may be viewing my profile – recruiters, current colleagues, prospective employees and more. And for those seeking employment, write your profile to capture someone’s attention within the first 10-15 seconds. Be bold. Be eye-catching.
Keeping profiles private: This one totally confuses me. While Facebook is for family and friends; hence why I maintain a private profile, to me LinkedIn, it’s about business networking. Keeping a profile private communicates you’re seeking to hide something. Not a good start for any relationship.
Spamming groups: I see more and more spam in my LinkedIn Groups. This reminds me of spam comments on blogs. While there is a way to limit this on blogs, it’s up to group managers or community managers to monitor groups. Take a step back and reconsider how your participate on LinkedIn Groups – it should always be educational and helpful. Otherwise this reflects poorly on you and your company/employer.
Mass LinkedIn messages: As LinkedIn has opened up premium services, I’m seeing more spam in my LinkedIn in box. I am receptive to receiving emails from individuals who have clearly reviewed and pre-qualified me based on my profile. Otherwise, sending LinkedIn messages is worthless spam.
What are your don’ts for LinkedIn?