Here are a few tips to avoid falling prey to the usual bad habits on LinkedIn:
- LinkedIn is not JUST a job seeker’s place to network. You are always a career networker: during a job, between jobs, without a job. Don’t expect a job to come your way on LinkedIn just by jumping in and jumping out. It’s a bad habit to turn it on and off as your job needs change. Your visibility sputters and you bob and weave in and out. By continual activity on LinkedIn, you will be best remembered when a job opening appears if others can easily advise you of it. Even when you are not looking.
- LinkedIn winds through nearly all industries, levels of experience, seniority and at all sized-companies and firms. Consider which of your listed skills are transferable to others, in other geographic areas, in new businesses, etc. Heed signals of possible opportunities for you there. It’s a good habit to ask around for others to help you, when you need it, professionally. It’s a bad habit to think no one cares and be a wallflower.
- LinkedIn Groups can be seen as silos of similarly-minded experts who engage around a topic of similar interest. It’s a good habit to answer questions, share great printed materials you find and add to conversations in a group. It’s a bad habit to sulk away from a group because it doesn’t offer you anything when you didn’t offer IT anything.
- LinkedIn provides you ample opportunity to write and publish essays on topics you think are timely, relevant and useful, demonstrating your expertise and unique point of view. Unfortunately, these long form LinkedIn Posts are published by only a small minority of LinkedIn’s 450 million members. It’s a good habit to Post when you have something useful to say, even if you repurpose an older piece of writing, this time to a new global audience of business professionals. It’s a bad habit to make a Post a self-serving advertisement and so narrowly focused that others will ignore it, and then you.
- Baddest habit of them all: asking someone to connect to you using the boring boiler-plate “I’d like to connect to you on LinkedIn.” A really good habit: in your connection request, personalize it; create context: how we know each other, how we can help each other, why this is a good idea. Rid yourself of this bad habit, everyone, please. ASAP.
Tomorrow: 5 more bad/good habit combinations