The Do’s and Don’ts of LinkedIn

How to get really noticed and to make full use of this top social media recruitment platform

It’s no secret that employers now use social media platforms to find their next top talent, and LinkedIn seems to be the top choice of head hunters. Studies reveal that 94 percent of recruiters use social media to find applicants, and that 89 percent of them report having hired employees using LinkedIn. So whether you are a new graduate in search of your dream job, or if you’re simply looking to advance your career prospects, here are some do’s and don’ts of LinkedIn.

Do treat LinkedIn for what it is: a way to make job connections. If you find someone that could be helpful in advancing your career or recommending a job, but you don’t have a first-degree connection to them, find a mutual friend and ask them to write an introduction for you. This is an acceptable practice on LinkedIn.

Do be professional and respond to your messages accordingly.
Do maintain your visibility. Post something up a few times a week, and respond to what other people post as well. When you get a notification that someone has been promoted, congratulate them, likewise, thank people when they congratulate you.

Do send personalized connection requests. The extra effort to customize all your messages will set you apart from the rest. People are also more likely to respond to requests for recommendations and endorsements if you send a personalized message rather than the generic message.

Don’t treat LinkedIn as you would treat your Facebook account. These two platforms are not the same. While you won’t be so quick to befriend someone on Facebook right after meeting them, with LinkedIn, it’s better to add a connection immediately while you’re still fresh in someone’s mind.

Don’t ignore people, even if you don’t know who they are, or think they can’t help advance your career. If you are approached for a job you are not interested in, simply thank the person and recommend the job to someone else. Likewise, if someone you don’t know very well asks for a recommendation, tell them that you prefer to only write recommendations for people you’ve worked with personally. They will appreciate the honesty and this ups your integrity as well.

Don’t go overboard with your posts. Over posting can become annoying, and can potentially hinder your prospects. Posting once a day is enough to allow you to maintain visibility without irritating your contacts.
Don’t leave below average recommendations on your profile – it is better to hide it from your page. A substandard recommendation is not going to do you any favors.

Why LinkedIn?
1. It’s a professional network
LinkedIn has a worldwide network more than 450 million professional users, with two users signing up every second! One in three professional globally are LinkedIn users.

2. Applying for jobs is easy
The main benefit of LinkedIn is that it helps uncover potential job opportunities and offers the best way to find top talent. Companies use LinkedIn as a corporate hiring solution because it is easy to post and distribute job openings. Additionally, individuals can directly apply for a job using the “Apply with LinkedIn” button.

3. It has more than 2 million groups
LinkedIn also offers much professional learning and social groups around the world, a platform to connect and start conversations, allowing you to easily join groups related to your industry or business. LinkedIn has three times better group conversation rate as compared to Facebook and Twitter.

4. Follow companies easily
LinkedIn is a great place to follow companies you are interested in to explore potential opportunities. It is easy to check detailed statistical information on the company’s business page and find professionals with the skill you need.