Linked-In etiquette …. 5 points to help you

5 points to help you with Linked-In etiquette, I know it can be a mind field so I have tried to keep them short.

1. Whats the first thing people see when they look at your profile? how do people recognise you? Yes by your photo, so to say your LinkedIn profile picture should appear “professional” is really stating the obvious. I would strongly recommend paying a professional photographer to give you a few head shots to choose from is worth it and really not expensive.  Don’t use a photoshopped holiday snap, it really won’t reflect  you in a  professional light. Also be warned that if you photoshop the picture those you have networked with won’t necessarily recognise you, how embarrassing would that be!

2.When you read an article whether its in a newspaper, magazine or on a website, many good stories don’t get read without a good headline. This being true Ali Unlimited strongly recommends that you be very concise, engaging and specific in the summary field of your Linked-In page. If the summary doesn’t draw people in, all the success  you had achieved  during your career might not receive any attention as people don’t keep reading through the summary to the experience section if is not grabbing their attention. You will want to show who you are, what you do, and why you’re unique.

3. Filling out your bio, one of the finer things about LinkedIn, at least from a recruiting standpoint, is that it not only encourages honesty in your CV, it essentially requires it, since your profile is viewed by your bosses, colleagues and customers. Accentuate your strengths and highlights, while providing context around your job responsibilities. But the one main difference between a regular CV and a LinkedIn profile is that you’ll have a wider range of people viewing your Linked-In profile. As such, you will have to be slightly more pragmatic in summarising the points that you think might satisfy a variety of sectors connected to your industry and that interest you. Its important to get the LinkedIn URL you want. Most LinkedIn profiles URLs will have be a slash and then your name (/your name) at the end of them. Names can be common, so try to get yours first.

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is public (check in account settings). If you want to use all aspects of Linked-In, and be able to have people search for you and examine your career experience, you need a public profile. Remember if Google can’t see you then neither can anyone else!

4. Your contact/connection list. There are two main arguments about the merits of how one chooses connections on LinkedIn. One is upheld by Linked-In itself,  which does believe you should know your contacts before you connect with them. The argument is that it reflects badly on you professionally, if you don’t know who people in your contact list are, if someone you know asks you to connect with one of your contacts. On the other end of the spectrum sits the LinkedIn Open Networkers, who will generally add most people as a connection (whether they know them or not).  Linked-In discourage the use of the “I don’t know” button. “I don’t know” was designed by Linked-In to discourage random, unknown connections.

If you are the one sending a connection, try personalising the standard invitation of “I’d like to add you as a connection”, especially if you feel you don’t know the person incredibly well or that their memory might need some prodding! At the very least, even if they decline it, they’ll be less likely to hit the dreaded “I don’t know” button. Don’t forget to make your connection list public, otherwise you are defeating the purpose of Linked-In. It’s a social network, and there isn’t anything more unsocial than not allowing your contacts to connect with one another. The only exception  is if you feel showing your connections would undermine your company’s competitive advantage.

5. Recommend and getting recommended feature on Linked-In can be a powerful way to show that your work has been endorsed by influential people and decision makers. With this in mind, Ali Unlimited suggests  “360 degree strategy” that shows the various ways in which you do your job and the people you work with, work for and your customers. If you want managers, peers and clients to recommend you, these should be people who know you well and who can really speak to your competencies.

Though it’s nice to be recommended, it’s vital to build up your own social capital by recommending others, a key to good Linked-In etiquette would be to bear in mind  that what goes around comes around. If you go and write a good recommendation for a colleague/client/peer, odds are they will do the same for you in the future.

I hope you have found this blog useful, if Ali Unlimited can be of any help or you would like to leave a comment we would love to hear from you.


Alison Penfold

Joining up the dots for you ..... often creating calm out of chaos.

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