And, in one way, it’s good, because you are connected to the world out there, making new friends, sharing bits and parts of your life and being ‘in touch’ with all those distant well wishers who requested you to. After all, this is what ‘social’ networking is for, right?
Now imagine doing this on your professional network as well. You connect with people of the same profession on a certain site LinkedIn, say, greet them with a regular ‘hi’ and suddenly, out of old Facebook habits, you end up sharing Kim Kardashian’s photo with them. How embarrassing would that be? And what if you find your B2B partners liking, commenting and sharing the same? Will it not be an egg on your face?
So, just know this – LinkedIn isn’t Facebook. And here’s how you should observe the golden rules of it:
Choose a profile picture that looks professional:
So, you have visited the Virgin Islands recently? But, why do you want your business relations to know about it? Do they care? Don’t yell out personal details with a loud photograph for your profile. Keep it out-and-out professional.
Treat the platform like your resume and not a networking site:
Provide details about your profession and not what you ate for breakfast. Tell the end user about your skills and what you are adept at. Take it this way – you are sitting for an interview session, explaining the interviewer about your qualifications, work experience and proficiency. Or say, you are sorting out what to include in your curriculum vitae and what not to. You would never reveal in it, where you went for your holidays last summer, would you?
Be careful while connecting your other social media profiles to LinkedIn:
Chances are that you’ll be at a lot more liberty on Facebook or Twitter or even Google+. So, while you connect these profiles to your LinkedIn account, take the pain to not share anything unprofessional. If these profiles of yours carry a lot of casual content, it’s better to keep them away from your professional network. A ’12 am and still at the pub’ status would definitely make your bosses, colleagues and B2B friends cringe.
Know whose out there and how to start a conversation:
You can start with a friendship request on Facebook, exchange phone numbers and LOL all over it. But, when on LinkedIn, remember that you are connecting with people on a professional front, primarily to land up somewhere with a good job. How you converse with the recruiters is an important issue. Never ask for an e-mail or a phone number straightaway. Your way of approaching him for a specific post should entirely reveal the gentleman that you are.
Be more choosy in endorsing or in being endorsed:
I am suddenly reminded of long-dead Orkut, where we could write ‘testimonials’ for each other. LinkedIn endorsements, too, do something similar. They let you choose skills for friends and accept those your friends choose for you. Impressions and opinions do matter. But, getting recommended by just a few insignificant souls does not pay very well. Okay, that friend of yours adores you very much. But, should you always pick up an endorsement for him? Or let him offer one for you everyday? This, somehow, looks shady.
These are undoubtedly the golden rules of the professional networking site. And there still are other minor ones too. For instance, you can cut those ‘Wssup’ or ‘Hiya’ greetings from Facebook and resort to using more formal words and minding to dot your i’s and cross your t’s. It’s not Twitter, you know, where you have to keep thinking about managing text space. So, while on LinkedIn, don’t shout and blabber, just speak.
A post by Chayanika Deka. 29th of November, 2014.