Using LinkedIn to make connections in the business world

We all make mistakes: it’s just that some have more far-reaching implications than others. When it comes to making mistakes online, they become amplified.

This is because the ‘one to one’ communication has now become ‘one too many’. One of those social media networks that has the potential to either enhance or damage your reputation in the business world is LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a social media platform that focuses more on your professional life
Instead of posting all your party pictures, you would relay your professional life and achievements. With LinkedIn’s membership now surpassing 300 million professionals, it is vital not to look like a ‘dork’ in front of such a big crowd, especially when your future boss could be part of it!

So here are the top five common mistakes that you need to watch out for if you want to use your LinkedIn account to portray a professional image.

1. Don’t over post – once a day is enough
Business professionals do not want to be spammed with a large amount of useless information that has absolutely nothing to do with them. This will only cause irritation and you could potentially be deleted, or worse, blocked, meaning you are not likely to get that perfect job of which you have been dreaming!

2. Don’t ask people to like your Facebook page on LinkedIn
It makes you look like an amateur, or even worse… desperate. Let’s keep our professional and personal lives separate. You do not want your boss sending you a Facebook invite and then potentially seeing how much you love your pet! It is good advice not to mix business and pleasure. Don’t treat LinkedIn like Facebook or Twitter.

3. Don’t ask new connections or people you don’t know to endorse you
This is honestly one of my pet hates. It is the most annoying thing in the entire world to get an endorsement request from someone that you do not know. Imagine being the person who receives, “This person has a nice smile and therefore will be on time for work every day”. They do not know a single thing about you and therefore have no basis or ability to comment on your professional abilities.

4. Don’t send messages starting with, ”I see you viewed my profile…” – that’s really creepy!
Let’s leave the stalker behaviour out of the professional environment. This person could be a future colleague or employer. I suggest you treat them the same way online as you would in person.

5. Don’t use anything other than a professional-looking photo
I think this is the most important one on the list. Unless you are applying for a job in a bar, try not to have a photo with you sipping a Cosmopolitan in the middle of the ocean. If you want to appear professional, you need to have a professional photo. You can make only one good first impression!

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