When you’re a new LinkedIn user it can be a tricky platform – it works a bit differently to sites that are designed to connect you with your friends. Want to look like a pro? Here’s what to avoid.
Spam your contact list
When you start a LinkedIn profile, you’ll be asked if you would like to send out an invite to your contacts. Great idea right? Well, not really. Unless you are using an email address that you have only ever used to connect with people professionally, you might end up sending invites to everyone in your contacts list – old friends, that guy you bought a fridge from. Be careful which options you choose.
Made a mistake? Here’s how to withdraw invites.
Have you ever spent a few hours mindlessly browsing Facebook profiles or Twitter feeds? LinkedIn is not the platform for absent minded browsing. People get a report on who has checked their profile over the last week, so if you look at someone’s profile, they’ll know.
You can use this function to your advantage – has a stranger popped up in your suggestions who has an interesting job title or works in your organisation? Feel free to click on their profile and look at their public information. But avoid clicking on someone’s profile if you’d prefer not to connect with them.
You can change your settings so people won’t know you looked at their profile. Just be aware that when you choose this option you won’t see who has looked at your profile, which can be important information when you’ve applied for a job.
Have an empty profile
When you start a LinkedIn profile – which is a wise move for postgraduate students – you need to be prepared to enter a lot of information. Make sure you’ve got a nice professional photo of yourself ready, as profiles with photos get viewed a lot more often. But you’ll also need to fill in information about your recent work history and educational background.
It’s a good idea to have a soft copy of your most recent CV open, because having at least the last few years of your work history on your profile is important and you need to make sure your profile matches up with the CVs you are sending out to prospective employers.
Too much information
When you make changes to your profile this can be obvious to your contacts. Unless you want everyone in your network to know something – you got a promotion or started a new job – you might want to turn these notifications off.
Collecting connections, endorsements and recommendations can be slow going to newbies on LinkedIn, but if you follow these basics you won’t make any major breaches of etiquette and you can start to use your profile as a networking tool effectively.
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