With the integration of social networking into all aspects of everyday use, LinkedIn is playing an important role in the world of recruitment and entrepreneurship. However knowing how to use the platform is just as important as creating an account in the first place. Over at the DTS headquarters we have gathered up the 10 Do’s and Don’ts for every LinkedIn user below. Utilising these tips will help you build valuable relationships that lead to stronger outcomes in the future of your career or business.

 

Do

Create a personal brand around your profile.

This includes having a professional profile picture that showcases your personality. Make sure it is in the style of a headshot and that you are the only one in the picture.

Make use of the Summary tab.

Provide a detailed description of what you are currently doing. Be sure to include your current state of employment, personal hobbies, professional aspirations and where a user could potentially reach you. The purpose of the summary tab is to provide an overall feel of who you are and what professional goals you’re hoping to achieve in the current year.

Personalise connection requests.

Sending the LinkedIn default message to a potential connection can often be misinterpreted as spam. Make sure to do your research on the individual you are trying to connect with before reaching out. Only then should you follow up with a personal message on why you would like to connect with them. This will open up a dialogue that could lead to future mutual opportunities for you and your potential connect.

Keep in contact with your connections.

The best way to build long lasting relationships with the result of a tangible outcome is to reach out to your connections from time to time. Engage with their daily posts by liking or commenting, ask for advice on a project you’re currently working on or simply introduce them to a new contact that may be of benefit to their business or career.

Add value to the network.

LinkedIn is all about sharing thoughts, ideas and connections with people from all over the world. It is important that you post content that you think your contacts might find beneficial or useful, not just self serving content and achievements.

 

Don’t

Comment negatively on posts.

LinkedIn is nothing like Facebook or Twitter. It is important to keep criticism constructive, pointing out at least two things you liked about the post and a critique on what you think might have room for improvement. Remember your reputation is important amongst other users, a dominant negative viewpoint may block your potential to build great relationships.

Spam.

Reach for quality over quantity. It is important to share content only if it is of great benefit to you and other potential users. Spamming users with content that is not relevant to their career path or business may cause them to unconsciously ignore future posts of yours.

Have a profile that is inactive.

The last thing you want to do is disappear off of LinkedIn after spending months building useful connections with people you respect. Updating your feed with new content once a week is enough to keep your face in people’s minds. Furthermore, be sure to continuously update your profile. Adding new career milestones, projects and voluntarily work you are currently working on might increase the interest of other users who are hoping to connect with you.

Ask people you don’t know for endorsements.

Work on building a relationship with your new connections first and foremost. Send them a personal message and show your interest in their current work. Furthermore endorse some of their skills and if they want to endorse some of yours in the future they will. Asking can come cross as self-indulgent.

Take longer than 1-2 days to respond to a message.

This can lead to the wrong interpretation of who you are and eventually taint your reputation on LinkedIn. It is crucial to show people that you care about what they have to say and that nurturing the relationship with your contacts is important to you.

 

LinkedIn is a great platform for seeking out opportunities and if you can build the perfect profile, those opportunities might seek you. Taking on these tips will greatly improve the quality of time you spend on social networking. Use it wisely.

DTS takes place on February 15th and 16th. Tickets are available now. Click here to secure yours.

 

Ayisha Ogbara