Like your resume, your LinkedIn profile is a professional representation of you online. In order to grow your professional social image effectively, it’s important to apply guidelines that are specific to its nuances, as well as to leverage its major features. Engaging with appropriate LinkedIn etiquette could translate to more connections, a strong personal network and better business opportunities. Your LinkedIn profile may be one of the first things an employer looks at after you submit an application, so it’s essential to represent yourself accurately and professionally. While it’s natural to want to represent yourself in the best light, it’s also important not to overstate your experiences and qualifications. Include a professional-looking profile picture and correct details about your skills and experiences. It’s a good idea to start growing your professional network by making connections through the contacts you already know. LinkedIn’s advanced network features allow you to see who you’re connected to by different degrees, so you can reach out to those individuals even if they’re not directly connected to you. Let’s say you want to connect with someone at a company you’re interested in working for. Instead of sending an unsolicited, generic invitation, research your networks to see how you’re connected and ask for an introduction from one of your contacts. If someone is completely outside of your network, send a private message explaining why you want to connect. Word of mouth is still one of the most effective ways of marketing yourself. For this reason, you may want to leverage LinkedIn’s Endorsement and Recommendation features. Endorsing allows someone to quickly vouch for a specific skill you have, while Recommendations let you request a testimonial from a connection. It’s also considered good LinkedIn etiquette to return the favor. One way to respect other users is by providing value through the content you share. Perhaps you’re a realtor just breaking into the industry. It’s good not to share just listings or purely sales-oriented content that can bombard other users’ feeds. Instead, you could share your personal tips for first time home buyers as well as curate interesting articles from industry thought leaders. By sharing content that is informative and relevant to your audience, you can speak more effectively to them. Be personal when you promote your business and target those who will find your business relevant. Let’s pretend you were sending out generic private messages to invite your contacts to an event. Not only could they be turned off by the impersonal manner of your messages but they could also pass on the negative experience to their contacts, potentially leading others to remove you from their connections.

So remember ..…

Appropriate etiquette can mean better business opportunities.

Always be sure to represent yourself accurately and professionally.

Try to avoid sending generic, unsolicited invitations.

Use the Endorsement and Recommendation features.

Provide value through the content you share.

Avoid using private messages to promote your business.