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LinkedIn Etiquette

Two days ago I was going through my LinkedIn account. Traveling overseas had kept me from checking it actively. I’d 714 requests waiting for a click to be added to my professional network. Though nothing happened that quite surprised me, still there’s one thing that I’ve been noticing lately on LinkedIn, and thought it’s obligatory by the standards of Etiquette to bring it out and share it here.

LinkedIn was launched on May 5, 2003, with the chief purpose of enhancing professional networking, including employers posting jobs and job seekers posting their CVs. The users have also been enjoying the features where they get to share their thoughts, appreciate others’ work and promote real-world professional relationships. Having an account on LinkedIn means your VIRTUAL PRESENCE before other professionals. This ‘Make believe Image’ should be as good as your physical presence. Reflect on your present profile. Are you presenting the right picture of yourself before others? If that’s difficult, I’m giving you 5 ways of painting an impressive professional image on LinkedIn :

1. Your Display Picture- Let’s assume that you are going to have an official meeting. Would you like to dress in casuals or formals? What makes you look more approachable and friendly — a long face or an honest smile? A hairstyle similar to Skye Terrier or a neat look? Everyone would go for the latter in each case. Unfortunately, many people keep their display pictures convey a very dilly-dally attitude by uploading a picture where they’re either not smiling, not wearing formals. On the contrary, I’ve seen them wearing bandanas, baseball caps, and even sunglasses. My suggestion to you — Please keep it STRICTLY PROFESSIONAL. Also, don’t show others how much you love your spouse, friends or other family members. No one wants to know. It rather becomes a guessing-game for others- which one is you in the group?!  2. Summary- When you create your profile on LinkedIn, you’ll come across a field ‘Summary’. This is where you introduce yourself. Think, how do you introduce yourself professionally when you meet someone? I’ve seen users keeping it blank or even putting things like “ I’m a swagger”, “I believe in true relationships”, “A killer Gemini…”. LinkedIn is unlike Facebook or Instagram which is used for personal as well as professional purpose. Do not dilute your image. State the kind of person you are in a positive manner like “A Software professional with two years of experience in SAP, graduated from Delhi University. Enthusiastic about learning new skills” You may elaborate on the professional skills and achievements thereafter.  3. Sending Requests: Understand, that if your request hasn’t been accepted once, you need to wait until it gets accepted or just leave it. Don’t be pushy. Don’t re-send requests incessantly. The person receiving such requests may not appreciate this and your chances of being a part of her/his network would certainly deplete. 4. Messages: It’s sad to see that some consider this option like WhatsApp or Messenger. Messages on LinkedIn are supposed to be purely professional. Don’t send weird emojis and personal comments or questions. 5. Posts: Your Posts should speak for your skills/profession/Ideology. Restrain yourself from posting anything related to Religion/ Politics/ Sex. Twitter is a better option if you intend to update people on the above topics. Besides these, one post per day is good enough. Don’t make LinkedIn Twitter. Remember, the way you present yourself “Virtually” is at par with meeting someone in person. You need to appreciate this platform named LinkedIn which provides a sea of opportunities to build your career. Be focused, be professional.

Let me know if this article was useful to you. Did it help you make certain changes in the way you handle or present yourself on your LinkedIn profile. Thanks!

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