In stark contrast to Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn members have developed ways to communicate with each other. As the platform has evolved, some connection and communication techniques have proven far more effective than others.
Use the wrong tools, or communicate in the wrong way – like those described below – and you may be labeled a Linkedin Loser…
You Send the Default Connection Request
“I’d like to add you to my professional network” is the standard text you’ll find when you decide to send an invitation to another LinkedIn user. Leaving this as is, frankly, doesn’t say much about who you are and why you want to connect – but says a great deal about your willingness to work hard.
It’s easy to add a sentence or two to personalize a message for each recipient. Take all the time you need; your professional reputation depends on the effort.
You Claim to Be a “Friend” When You’re Not
Unless… this is the only way you have to make the connection and you can explain why you want to connect per item #1 above, don’t do it.
Can you find an email address for the person online? Are you members of the same LinkedIn Groups? Social media consultant Jeff Bullas notes that connecting as a friend “is a major pet peeve for many professionals on LinkedIn.” When you send out an invitation, exhaust every other available options before selecting “friend.”
You Use of Cliches and Buzzwords
“Creative” and “motivated” are just two professional buzzwords recently identified by LinkedIn. Used on their own, they don’t really convey anything unique about your qualifications and potential.
Jeff Haden recommends an alternative approach: consider how you introduce yourself to someone you meet in person. Would you say: “I’m a passionate, innovative, dynamic provider of services”? Probably not. In a way, your LinkedIn profile is speaking for you – how are you being introduced?
You Leave Your Profile Unfinished
Among LinkedIn influencers, there is an expectation that you’ll have some basic information completed: your name, a unique headline, location, and industry. Adding your work and education history is also expected, as is an appropriate photo, summary, and skills.
Writing online profiles can become a chore when you have multiple accounts. Journalism instructor Kenna Griffin suggests a method that will ensure you cover all of your profile bases.
You Leave Your Professional Reputation to Chance
A new post from author Isa Adney stresses the need “to be intentional and thoughtful about why you have social media and the results you desire from your posts.” Setting priorities for how you want to use LinkedIn will help you make decisions regarding what you include in your profile, which LinkedIn Groups you join, and how you interact with other members via discussion boards, messages, invitations, and more.
Changing how you use LinkedIn with these “don’ts” in mind will serve you well, show you are concerned about your online professional presence… and enable you to make better connections. Get started, now!
What connection and communication tips do you have to keep others from being perceived as a LinkedIn Loser? Share your tips with us here!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at OnlineCollege.org!
About the Author: Melissa Venable, PhD is an Education Writer for OnlineCollege.org. Melissa’s background includes work in higher education – private, public, and for-profit – as an instructional designer and curriculum developer. Melissa is also an experienced instructor, academic advisor and career counselor. She is actively involved in research related to online education and the support of online students. Her work has been published in The Career Development Quarterly, TechTrends, the Journal of Computing in Higher Education. Follow Melissa on Twitter!