Remember the time when you were being coached constantly by your parents on the Do’s and Don’ts of your life. Guess what; there’s soon going to be a time when parents add “The Quintessential LinkedIn Guide” to that list.
But although that’s a far-away thought as of now; we thought it’s be a good idea to tell you about “How not be a Jackass” on the world’s biggest professional social networking site. The key to remember here is that LinkedIn is not Facebook or Twitter but instead, one of the best tools you can have especially if you want to build amazing professional connections for future jobs.
So without further ado, we give you the official iimjobs.com guide on how NOT to use LinkedIn.
1. The “My Dog Just Pooped” Status Update
Although LinkedIn provides a Status Update feature, it’s really not to be used 20 times a day with status messages like the one in Bold above! And yes, please spare us all with those copy-pasted inspirational/sad/motivational/love quotes from the 1st page of Google.
A great way to use this correctly would be to share an interesting/insightful/helpful link with your entire network (For starters, you can start by sharing this article…hehe).
2. Spamming with Connection Requests
Once again, LinkedIn is not a professional avatar of Facebook so don’t spam people with Connection Requests. Nothing screams spam more than a request from a stranger you’ve never met before and especially one that doesn’t carry any background information on how they know you.
Yeah, we know you’re desperate for a job and would wish to connect with every recruiter on Planet Earth but think of it from a recruiter’s perspective who possible gets 20 such “connection” requests a day. So take a step back, find out how you can stand out from the crowd and as a first step, look at mutual connections you both might have and then work your way from there.
3. Having a “Friday Night Exclusive” Profile Picture
We’ve all been in those situations where a “Friday Night” picture speaks more than a thousand million words. And yes, you might have even got a hundred likes and shares on Facebook from that yo-yo drunk pose on the toilet seat but please don’t put that up as your LinkedIn profile picture.
Remember, LinkedIn is YOUR professional network so avoid pictures that show your grandma feeding you or your entire family vacationing in Hawaii!
Oh, and yes, we also hate the “grey mystery man” that pops up when there’s no profile picture.
4. Connecting LinkedIn & Twitter – The Worst Idea since Smelly Pants
This goes in continuation with the 1st point mentioned above. Thankfully, LinkedIn has now wisely removed this option of linking the two but we wanted to mention this just in case something similar happens. (Image Courtesy)
You have been warned. In a sinister 140 character long way!
5. Being an Insufferable “Know it All”
You don’t need to be a “Hermione Granger” on LinkedIn all the time just because you know you’re the smartest person on the planet. Remember, humility is the virtue of all great people (just like the person who’s writing this post) so don’t go about prancing your intelligence on all groups and polls that come your way.
P.S – Further Reading: 3 LinkedIn groups you must Join!
6. Orkut Ishtyle Testimonials
The LinkedIn recommendation tool is a way to let potential recruiters know how your colleagues and ex-workers think about the work you’ve done. Used wisely, it’s the most powerful feature in LinkedIn’s arsenal so don’t ruin it by asking all your friends and family to write Orkut style testimonials for you.
P.S – I once bullied my best friend to write an Orkut testimonial for me way back during my engineering days. Needless to say, it’s one of the most embarrassing things I’ve done! (even more embarrassing than what my friend ended up writing)