LinkedIn is powerful. We highly recommend LinkedIn as this social media platform is an incredible outlet for finding new career or consulting opportunities. In October of 2011 we published a blog post titled “How to use your Network when Job Hunting”, and LinkedIn took center stage.
However, one thing we didn’t address involved what we call the “LinkedIn Use Protocol”. Be advised that LinkedIn has different etiquette rules than Facebook or Twitter because the purpose of LinkedIn is to make professional connections rather than social ones. The most common LinkedIn mistakes we see people make include the following:
1.) You are selfish: When was the last time you selflessly endorsed someone on LinkedIn? You just worked with a great project manager or an incredible Study Coordinator; so why haven’t you given them a recommendation on LinkedIn without requesting anything in return?
2.) You are lazy: Don’t fall into the trap of only making connections when you need something. If you wait until you need a job and then send mass invitations, your effectiveness will be compromised and you will reek of desperation. Your professional colleagues want to help those who help themselves, so continually work on building and nurturing your network.
3.) You don’t have a strategy: Building a good network means hand-selecting people who can benefit you professionally (and you them). It isn’t about the size of your network, but the quality of your connections and you should continually be taking advantage of developing your network through referrals, colleagues, and team members. Don’t forget to leverage your existing network by sending invitations or introduction requests to 2nd or 3rd LinkedIn connections.
4.) You are inappropriate: LinkedIn is not YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook. As a professional network building platform, LinkedIn is used to connect people to potential hiring managers, employers, customers, or clientele. You are building your personal brand in every interaction and once you put something in writing, it is in stone. Always maintain your professionalism. Always check your spelling. Always check your grammar. Always use your brain.
5.) You aren’t paying attention to the details: There are two areas where we see clinical research associates consistently missing opportunities to build their brand on LinkedIn.
First: Have you overlooked LinkedIn Today? Are you overlooking discussions going on in your current network? Participating in ongoing discussions and sharing articles is a great way to connect to thought leaders and to join their networks. This type of quality activity will drive traffic to your page and can bring hundreds of new connections!
Second: Are you using the generic connection request? How special do your future colleagues or hiring managers feel when they get the standard “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” invitation? Personalize your request, and make that prospective client or boss appreciate the value you bring to the table and therefore be incented to accept!
Written by Jessica Nguyen
Investing in a Lifetime of Success,
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