What NOT to do on LinkedIn
There are a lot of wonderful articles on the best way to use LinkedIN. Unfortunately, people still forget some of the basic rules. This is a collection of my personal “pet-peeves” of what people do on LinkedIN. Day 10 of “One Day, One Blog” — a challenge I set for myself for the month of January 2019.
LinkedIN is a wonderful platform for professional networking. A few years ago the number of Indian college students registered on LinkedIn was not very high. I formed this opinion based on two factors: When I address college students and ask them how many of them have a LinkedIN profile, in gatherings that varied from 50 to 100, just 1 or 2 would raise their hands. This is not just in Kerala but pan India.
When freshers apply to our firm, I check their profiles on social media. While almost all would have a Facebook account, very few had LinkedIn profiles. This is now changing and I see more and more students and fresh graduates on LinkedIN.
While LinkedIn discourages you from connecting with people you do not know, many of us network online with people we have not met. I have benefited a lot from introductions made here and I am always willing to pass it on. I make it a point to take the time out few times a week to do just that because I believe in the power of this platform.
In the last one year, I have noticed some extremely irritating user behavior on LinkedIN. I am assuming it is because these are young kids and no one has told them NOT TO do so.
Allow me to state a few rules here:
- “Hi” — Do not ping someone with this dreaded two letter word and leave it at that. What exactly are you expecting to happen when you say “Hi” and nothing else? That I should say “Hi”, and then you will say “How are you?” and I will say “I am fine, Thank You” and THEN you will come to the matter at hand??? If there is one thing that has forced me to write this blog today, it is the overwhelming number of people who do this. Please draft a proper, precise mail introducing yourself and stating the reason you are reaching out to me if you would like a revert from me.
- “Your phone number, please” — The people who do this are lesser in number that those in the “Hi” category by still large enough to warrant it’s own bullet point. The mail (personal message on Ln) starts like this, “ Hi. I need your professional advice. Can I have your mobile number?”. Do you see the problem in this or do I need to spell it out? Ok, let me not take a chance here. “Bhai… I am sure you are a nice person. In fact my “cyber-gut-sense” says that you genuinely need some professional advice from me. But I don’t know you well enough. Why would I give you my number? You are putting me in the uncomfortable position of having to say NO bluntly. Please don’t do that. Explain your problem in the mail. After that if it warrants a call, then perhaps we could consider?
- “The Killer Idea” guy — This guy is a gem. Whoever has taught him sales skills should be commemorated. This hero(s) starts his pitch ( again via mail) like this, “Ruby … I was on the look out for a person just like you. I have this brilliant product idea that will completely revolutionize the industry… I am going to give you the opportunity to execute this idea and make the product and sell it. We will be 50–50 partners”. Wow sir, I am so obliged that you-who-has-never-met-me thought of me and considered me worthy of this. I am blessed. (Blocked the damn guy.)
- “The cute baby in the profile pic” — Dear Sir/Madam… I would like to know what you are thinking when you come to a professional networking site and add a random baby pic on your profile. No….Seriously.. I really would like to know what your thought process is!
Friends, I thought a lot before writing this note. It felt rude and cruel. But when hundreds of people do it, I thought it warranted a few words even though it may seem mean to some. I hope people get the right message from this. If not, hey, at least next time someone does this I can share this link 🙂
If you have any words of wisdom to share with the younger lot on LinkedIN usage, do share with us. Thank you for your time.