Consider this another weekend how-to session that can help you make better use of LinkedIn. Many people use it well, making, building and maintaining their professional relationships and online reputations with prudent and careful use of the site. There are others who seem to view it as just another social media tool, and they make mistakes I would like to help you avoid. Here they a few suggestions:
By the way, if you have suggestions to share, please comment to this blog post and share. Everyone would love to hear what’s working for you. Thanks!
Spelling & Grammar: If you are going to write more than a couple of sentences, use a word processor with spelling and grammar check. If you can’t be bothered, at least use a web browser that will highlight your spelling mistakes – Google Chrome and Firefox both use the red squiggle to point out your errors. Why? Recruiters and others judge you by the quality of the material you post, especially in your own profile.
Watch Your Links: One person recently sent me an invite to connect. I accepted and checked out the websites linked to through the profile. Eek! This person’s personal website is full of errors! It could easily torpedo any aspirations to be contacted by recruiters. It is really bad. Avoid sending professionals to an unprofessional site.
Watch What You Say: As LinkedIn is a professional social media site, consider posting things that you would only say in front of your boss or if you were in a meeting with everyone in your network. Is your message professional, concise and on topic? If not, avoid the urge to post. Silence is golden if your message isn’t.
Personalize Your Invitations: If you are going to take the time to send someone an invitation, why not personalize it. That simple step can increase the likelihood that the invitation will be accepted, and can accelerate the development of your professional relationships. Here is an example. “I appreciated the comment that you made in the ____ group about Lean Manufacturing concepts. I would like to invite you to join my professional network so we can share ideas.” This invitation pays a complement and tells the person why you want to connect. Wouldn’t you accept the invitation?
Reach Out After the Connection: If you have accepted or issued an invitation to someone you have never met, get the conversation going with a follow up message or a phone call. I can tell you from personal experience that it is appreciated and NOBODY else is doing it. You can really enhance the value of these relationships through proactive dialogue.
There it is. Review your network and your LinkedIn activities. Are you maximizing the benefit of the time spent on the service?
Here’s the interactive part: Comment to this blog post – or better yet, subscribe – and share your best tips.