Recently, I connected with someone on LinkedIn (LI) who proceeded to spam me.
But the experience did make me wonder if we need to review the basics of LI again. By the way, there are some excellent authorities you can rely on for content and presentation of LI data. Here are some people you can visit if you're unsure of what or how to show information on LI:
- Jacqui Barret Poindexter (@ValueIntoWords)
- Christopher Fields (@New_Resource)
- Donna Serdula (@DonnaSerdula)
The value of LI is real to me. I'm a power user updating my site frequently, searching for relevant content to share and looking for news of people I know and companies I follow to promote. LI is the single most important Social Media platform for professionals.
There are though some basic rules of the road that will help your LI experience soar and prevent it from sinking. So let's review a few top ones.
- Profiles Count – work hard on making your profile strong. Relevant (ie., professional) information shared in a clean, non-cluttered way makes a big difference. Spelling counts: check your profile again and again. LI is not a resume: you needn't list specific dates nor every job you ever held – but unusual gaps, or incomplete bios will limit your effectiveness
- Use a Picture – some will argue there's a valid reason to not use a photo but I can't think of what it is. To me lack of a picture says you're not really serious about using this tool. Well I am: why would I look twice at a profile that isn't? And please, one person in the photo (uh, that would be you) with a headshot. No wine bottles, beer mugs, sports bars, sports bras or anything else that would make me wonder about hiring you
- Keep it Real – this is a professional site folks: while its okay to list a few pastimes like sports or charities its not FaceBook. I shouldn't read about your children, your church, the vacation you just had or anything else that is far removed from your career. Listing your birthday and marital status? Up to you, but let me ask you: are they job-related?
- Updates – you cannot “do” LI once and forget it. The majority of LI users don't update on a regular basis (regular is once a week or more) so when you do you're separating yourself from 80% of the crowd. Any recruiter will tell you that's a good thing. Just keep your updates related to work and not overtly political or religious.
- Manners – write to your contacts, comment on their updates and like their postings periodically. Don't spam people with multi-level marketing ads, don't write the same person three times a day, and never ever ever curse or say derogatory things on LI. About anyone. You cannot take back what's said on line – so say nice things only.
That's a basic start to getting on and using LI. Its a powerful tool that will let millions – yes millions – see a little bit more about the professional you.
Used well that's a good thing.
Spam people and you're history.