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24 Rules to Follow When Using LinkedIn

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Summary: Actively using a LinkedIn profile is a great start to boosting your professional network, but there are still etiquette rules to follow.

Our society may not conform to strict etiquette rules anymore, but there are still guidelines we need to follow when using social media accounts. Follow these do’s and don’ts to make sure you adhere to the etiquette rules.

  1. Do send a customized request every time. Receiving a personal message with a request will make the person feel special.
  2. Don’t send a request unless you are on their direct profile. As you are scrolling through the list of people you may know, be sure to go to their profile first before pushing the big blue button so you can customize the request with a short greeting.
  3. Do connect with people immediately. Send the request as you are walking away on your smartphone or the first moment you can get on a computer. You will be extending the connection after your conversation so that it gets imprinted into their mind.
  4. Don’t send a request more than once. If the person is taking a while to accept the request, sending the request again will nag them. They may be busy and not on their profile often that week or month.
  5. Do use LinkedIn as another form of an interview. An informational interview is not always a possibility when the person you wish to sit down with is busy. Sending a LinkedIn connection request gives you the opportunity to send an invite for them to give any tips or insight they might have on a topic you are asking about.
  6. Don’t ignore someone’s contact policy. There are some that don’t want contact from strangers, while others are willing to connect with anyone.
  7. Do find and use the recruiters in your industry. Send them connection requests with a message stating that you are in the market for a job in the industry and would appreciate any tips. Also be willing to help the recruiter out in return by giving other candidate referrals to them.
  8. Don’t neglect your recruiter once you find a job. Employment is never a for sure thing and can change when you least expect it. Letting your recruiter know that you are no longer in the market but that you will inform them when that changes keeps the door open for the future. You can still pass along other candidates for the recruiter to help.
  9. Do use LinkedIn to find people at your dream company. Having a referral is always best when applying at a competitive company, so it never hurts to reach out to those working at the company.
  10. Don’t connect with the hiring manager at your dream company though; it can actually encourage them not to hire you.
  11. Do update your profile, but only after your have turned off your activity setting. It is great to keep your profile current, but your contacts don’t need or want an update with every change you make. Once you are done updating your profile, remember to turn your activity back on.
  12. Don’t post too much. Your contacts don’t want to see more than one thing that you post a day.
  13. Do congratulate contacts when they add a new job. Write a sincere comment to help strengthen your connection.
  14. Don’t congratulate contacts on every update. A contact may just be updating his or her profile after years of inactivity so the “new” job they added may not actually be new and would just make you look silly for congratulating them on it.
  15. Do give endorsements when they are earned. If a colleague gives a great presentation, then feel free to recommend them for public speaking on their profile.
  16. Don’t be afraid to ask for endorsements for skills you have been working on. When you send a message to some of your contacts that are familiar with your selected skills, don’t make it a requirement that they give you the endorsement.
  17. Do generously give recommendations. We are all busy, so it is ok to ask the person to write most of their recommendation for you by providing a list of qualifications and achievements.
  18. Don’t recommend colleagues that aren’t worthy of it. Just politely respond with a quick message saying, “I’m not the right person” and move on.
  19. Do send personalized recommendation requests. Sending a custom message to your contacts when seeking recommendations will get better results.
  20. Don’t forget to use the remind and withdraw buttons for pending recommendation requests, just make sure you are sending reminders to the appropriate person.
  21. Do remove recommendations that are incorrect, generic or out of date.
  22. Don’t write recommendations for people unless you have worked closely with them. Politely turn down their request.
  23. Do write a simple thank you message to those that recommend you.
  24. Don’t ask for a lot of recommendations at one time. Space your requests out to one or two a month so that they don’t all have similar dates.


24 Rules to Follow When Using LinkedIn by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin