With all the articles that exist that suggest best practices for using LinkedIn, I thought it was necessary to discuss the wrong way to use LinkedIn. Given that there are so many job seekers, recent college graduates, and professionals still trying to grasp how to make the most of their LinkedIn experience, many may still not understand what they might be doing wrong.
The Wrong Way to Use LinkedIn
Yes, LinkedIn has a job board but LinkedIn isn’t a job board. So many people think LinkedIn is about finding a job. I know many people (I won’t mention names) who think LinkedIn is something that only matters when they are seeking employment. In fact, I get flooded with connection and endorsement requests from people I haven’t heard from in years or never truly knew well enough to endorse once those people lose their jobs. This is the wrong mentality to have in general, let alone when considering how to use LinkedIn as a resource. Would it be proper etiquette to only talk to a friend when you need something or to provide very little help to others and then ask for help yourself? LinkedIn can be used for many purposes but ultimately it is a platform that allows professionals with similar interests to connect and even collaborate. Thus, LinkedIn should be used to connect with others and to develop relationships.
Strategic relationship development is about branding – getting yourself recognized for the right reasons within the right circle of professionals. Relationships are developed over time and continued interaction contrary to the false sense of an established relationship one may feel simply because they clicked the “connect” button. Don’t just connect with people when you get laid off and don’t start getting active on LinkedIn and asking for endorsements when you are laid off either. Connecting, establishing relationships, participating in groups, adding value, offering your help, and constantly managing your brand is how you should use LinkedIn. Of course, doing these things can lead to job opportunities, business opportunities, endorsements and other things. However, deciding to use LinkedIn because you lost your job is the wrong way to really leverage LinkedIn as a tool and when you start mass messaging everyone you knew in your past requesting connections and endorsements, can you really blame them if they don’t respond when you have been out of the picture?
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