Everyone can spot bad office etiquette when they see it: taking loud personal calls at your desk, cooking an Atlantic salmon in the office microwave, or bringing vicious dogs to meetings. But how aware are you of bad LinkedIn etiquette?
For you and me—dear, smart, and socially advanced reader—these LinkedIn etiquette mistakes will seem like common sense. Yet, they still happen every day.
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1. Connecting with a hiring manager before your interview
Oh yes, it is exciting. The dream job. The first foot almost in the door. And then the tempting LinkedIn notification the night before the interview: “Jas Diamond, hiring manager at Your Dream Company, just viewed your LinkedIn profile.”
What to do? What to do?
Send a LinkedIn request? They did view your profile. Might be a good chance to show that YOU REALLY WANT THIS JOB.
Sending a connection request to a hiring manager—or anyone else you don’t already know at the company—before your first job interview is a bit too personal. The hiring manager is trying to interview multiple candidates and it’s not necessary to connect with them.
Here’s a better plan. Wait until you get the job offer or at least till after the interview. Or wait until the hiring manager connects with you first.
2. Endorse! Endorse! Endorse!
I’ve got skills. You’ve got skills. She’s got skills. Shouldn’t we all just endorse one another?
A few years ago, I got a job at Hootsuite. As you may know, we offer social media management software.
My sister calls me up and says, “Mom and Dad are really proud of you. They say you got a job as an executive at a candy factory? Something ‘tootsuite.’”
We definitely do not make candy. And I’m no executive.
A few days later, someone I know (let’s just call him my Dad*) endorsed me on LinkedIn for “conversion optimization,” a skill I’m sure he’d have a hard time connecting back to what a fictional candy factory executive does all day.
My parents have a vague idea of what I do for a living. That’s okay. In general, avoid endorsing people you haven’t worked with. It keeps everyone professional and honest.
*It’s okay if I poke fun at my Dad in this article as he won’t ever see it.
3. Having zero reason for connecting
Many people on LinkedIn will try to connect with you. I’m sure they have a reason. But mostly a connection request from a stranger feels like this:
Hello fellow business person!
You don’t recognize my name or LinkedIn profile picture. This is understandable as we’ve never met, never done business together, live 10,000 miles from each other, and appear to have absolutely nothing in common.
That said, I was browsing LinkedIn and glanced at your profile. I thought—why not add this complete stranger to my trusted professional network?
If you want to connect with a stranger on LinkedIn, have a reason and something business-like to offer.
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It doesn’t have to be much. Say you read a blog post I wrote. Or mention that you might need to hire someone with my skills sometime in the future. Any personal message is better than a random request to connect.
4. Finding (or re-finding) your soulmate
Do people actually use LinkedIn to find dates and look up lost soulmates?
A quick search on Google says yes. As the Chicago Tribune reported, there’s even an app called BeLinked. It makes dating matches based on your LinkedIn profile. Neat!
A popular complaint from Reddit users includes people repeatedly viewing the profiles of ex-lovers. Once, maybe. Repeatedly? Creepy.
If you’re looking for a soulmate, you’re in the wrong room. There are hundreds of apps, sites, and social networks that will help you find love. Keep LinkedIn for professional purposes.
A quick guide to win at LinkedIn
If you’re offering a job or new business, connect with anyone who has the relevant skills. People, even strangers, love new jobs and new clients.
It’s fine to view a stranger’s profile so long as your interest is professional. But remember they’ll get a notification each time you do view their profile.
If you want to connect with a stranger, have a reason and something valuable to offer. For example, you both run small ecommerce websites, live in the same city, and serve similar customers so it might be cool to partner on a promotion.
Looking to build your network? Try sharing interesting content instead of connecting with random strangers. Write a thoughtful LinkedIn post. Or send someone a copy of your new industry report.
If you’re looking for a soulmate, you’re in the wrong room. There are hundreds of apps, sites, and social networks that will help you find love.
Focus on quality of relationships rather than the quantity of your contacts.
Connect with coworkers and other professionals on LinkedIn—the right way—using Hootsuite. Try it free today.