Professionalism | 5 things to stop doing on LinkedIn RIGHT NOW

5 things to stop doing on LinkedIn RIGHT NOW

The professional social networking site LinkedIn is designed to aid the business community.

LinkedIn is a valuable resource for professionals wanting to grow their contacts network, share achievements in real time, swap ideas and engage in light-hearted business debates. While there may not be a written handbook to exemplify the appropriate levels of LinkedIn-based etiquette, so many users are guilty of using the platform in a way that could either put their career on the line or ways that don’t do their professional reputation or credibility any favours.

HR Grapevine has collated five things that you should stop doing on your LinkedIn instantly.

Pitch perfect – or not

Robert Glazer, Founder and CEO at Acceleration Partners wrote on LinkedIn, at one point in time, every user will have received an unwanted cold sales pitch, whether this is from someone who is a long-standing connection or someone trying to schmooze their way into your contacts book. Once you have connected, shooting a sales pitch into the dark is one way to deserve a swift unfollow in the eyes of many.

He wrote: “This is an immediate way to lose credibility with potential leads and is the professional equivalent of asking someone for their phone number at a bar before starting a conversation; I make a point of removing every person who does this from my connections list. 

“Focus first on establishing a relationship or authentic rapport. Trying to sell to people who don’t even know you may work in some instances, but in many cases, it rubs people the wrong way and can make them distrustful of your entire organisation. People can also see right through the AI bots that are commonly used in LinkedIn messenger to try to get the other person to engage, they don’t feel genuine or personal.”

The tagging train

Stop tagging LinkedIn users unless the post is relevant to them or their company. If done incessantly, users may want to disconnect and this may hamper business relationships. In an interview with Forbes, Beth Granger, CEO at Beth Granger Consulting said: “It’s tricky. Tagging someone is essentially a request for them to respond in some way or notify them because you think they would be interested. If overdone, it can be annoying. It's not good to tag the same people on every single post, for instance."

‘Pointless tripe’

Extrapolating sturdy ‘life lessons’ from the latest episode of Gemma Collins: Diva Forever is unlikely to earn you respect on LinkedIn. So, make sure that the content is geared towards professionals. David D’Souza, a Director at CIPD, took to Twitter recalling a scenario where he was asked for advice on becoming an influencer. While he didn’t have an obvious answer, he told them to steer clear of posting ‘pointless tripe’ on LinkedIn. Yet, this is exactly what they didn’t do.

He wrote: “Fast FORWARD to now and that PERSON is writing those STORIES that didn’t happen but GET loads of LIKES AND COMMENTS for no reasons. The ones where PEOPLE say things like IMPORTANT ‘LESSON FOR US ALL’.

“They WORK ALONE but say ‘This is a conversation with my TEAM last week.’ FIBS.”

Profile politics

Glazer added that there is a time and a place for voicing personal political opinions, but LinkedIn isn’t one of them – unless you happen to hold down a role in the political sphere. This can spark unnecessary conflict with other LinkedIn users which may rub others up the wrong way. But this is not all. He continued: “If your organisation is listed on your LinkedIn profile - as is the case for many - it’s vital to remember that you represent that organisation on the site. LinkedIn is not the appropriate forum for political discourse, especially when you are representing your employer.”

Poor personalisation

If you are reaching out to connect with someone who you have previously met, or someone you have heard of through a mutual connection, then sending a personalised note is crucial – otherwise, why would they want to accept? Granger added: "You should customise your LinkedIn connection invitations. People meet so many other people that this helps remind someone who you are and where you met. If you're trying to connect with someone you don’t know but would like to know, explain why you want to know them.

“Of course, you don't have to do this with a relative or someone you know really well. Also, if you use the new “nearby” function, you connect while you're with that person, and you can’t customize that. This is great for trade shows or events,” she concluded.

The importance of personal branding

No matter which job you’re in, you will never get a second shot at making a good first impression. Amazon’s Founder Jeff Bezos once said: “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” While this was once a term exclusively used for business, personal branding has become more important, particularly due to the uprise of social media which is now used to vet candidates in the interview process. According to 2018 CareerBuilder research, 70% of employers are now using social media to screen candidates, highlighting the importance of keeping your screen clean. Personal brands can be built on the back of consistent hard work, long-term career goals and impressive achievements, so it is important that your LinkedIn profile is evidence of this.

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