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What NOT to do on LinkedIn!

As a professional and job seeker (or a professional job seeker!) the #1 thing to not do on LinkedIn is to not sign up!

LinkedIn has long been the go-to social media platform to help professionals and businesses network. Every day, millions of people connect with information and opportunities, as well as recruiters and other like-minded professionals who want to help each other further their careers.

But the way you connect can either help or hinder your career options on the platform. That’s why it’s important that everyone looking to launch their career with LinkedIn should take the time to review the basic “no-nos” when it comes to interacting online.

So today, we’re going to go over 10 more important things NOT to do on LinkedIn! Let’s go!

1. Don’t send spam

Some people treat their approach to LinkedIn the same way phishing scams and email-based virus spreaders approach the internet. By spamming messages to whole contact lists hoping each contact will do the same.

Well what do you do with spam? You block it, report it, and delete it.

Don’t spam your contacts with cookiecutter requests for them to share their network with you. Not only will people want to sever their connection with you, but you could end up with restrictions imposed on your account from LinkedIn security.

2. Don’t use scripts

As your network grows, you’ll be tempted to make every message the same to save yourself time.

Don’t.

When you start creating scripted messages to send to your connections, they’ll stop seeing you as an individual.

Always add a personal touch to show them that you know there’s a real person behind the screen. That’s as simple as reminding them of something you have in common, or explaining why you’re sharing a piece of content with them specifically.

3. Don’t mention it when someone views your profile

LinkedIn will let you know who’s checking you out online. But you don’t have to let them know that you know.

Treat those notifications as a potential indicator that they might want to connect with you, but if you lead with “I see you viewed my profile…” as the reason you reach out, it doesn’t show a genuine interest.

It just sounds like you’re questioning someone who trespassed on your property, instead of inviting in a new guest to your personal community.

4. Don’t go private

We all want to maintain our privacy online, no doubt about that.

But when you lockdown your LinkedIn, it casts doubt as to why you’re on the platform at all.

Instead of closing down your profile, just curate it to show what you want people to see. Keep your connections open, and ensure your profile is visible to the right people.

And if there are certain people you actually don’t want to see your profile, simply remove them from your network.

5. Don’t add people to your email lists without permission

LinkedIn does allow you to export details about the connections that you’ve made, including email addresses.

But DON’T be tempted to add these emails to your existing email databases, like your MailChimp audience for example.

Connecting with you on LinkedIn does not imply or express consent to be contacted in any way outside the platform itself. In Canada, it would actually be ILLEGAL to add these people to your email blasts or newsletters.

You can always ask them first, or send them a link to opt-in. Just don’t opt on their behalf.

6. Don’t ask random people to endorse you

One of the most powerful items to showcase on your profile is endorsements from other professionals.

These could be former or current colleagues, satisfied clients, mentors or mentees, etc.

They should NEVER be people that you just met, and definitely not just random people from LinkedIn.

While it may seem like a fast way to build endorsements by doing so, your goal should be to build authentic endorsements and trustworthy testimonials instead.

7. Don’t give random recommendations

Just like you shouldn’t ask for endorsements from random people on the internet, you shouldn’t give them out.

Words are cheap, but their consequences can be costly. When people see that you’re too liberal with your praise, they won’t put as much stock in everything else you say.

Pro Tip: a great way to build real recommendations is to exchange endorsements with people you actually know. It benefits you both!

8. Don’t treat your profile like a billboard

What we mean by this is: don’t only post self-promotional content.

You need to post content that provides value to your readers.

People turn to LinkedIn to see the value that you bring to your professional community. If all you do is post content that says “look at me!” then you missed the opportunity to say “look what I can do for you!”

9. Don’t be negative

Some people, for whatever reason, think that the best way to move up in the world is by pushing other people down.

If you’ve ever seen crabs in a bucket, you know exactly why this isn’t true. The only reason they can’t escape the bucket is because instead of helping each other, as soon as one is close to climbing over the wall the others pull them down.

LinkedIn is not a place to put others down, or leave critical and harassing comments for others.

Don’t let yourself be drawn into meanspirited debates, or situations of cyberbullying. Be the positive person that other people want to associate with, and who they want to see succeed!

10. Don’t ghost people

As much as you can, you should be replying to those who reply to you.

Engagement is a two-way street. And the more you interact with people who interact with you, the more you’ll invite new interactions!

A good rule of thumb is to reply to people within 24 hours. It shows that you’re active, and interested in building relationships with your followers.

You don’t have to get into a full discussion with every single message and comment you receive, but be sure to acknowledge when people do take the time to share their thoughts.

Conclusion

There’s a lot that LinkedIn can do for your career. But it starts with knowing what NOT to do on LinkedIn.

For more advice on developing your career — online or off — you can always reach out to META for 1-on-1 support!

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