Posted on Aug 6, 2012

LinkedIn Etiquette

Did you know that in Mexico, it’s considered rude to eat a taco with a fork and knife? Or that in Japan, your chopsticks should always remain directly in front of your plate?

I’ll admit, I didn’t know these protocols, but I am well versed in LinkedIn Etiquette, and in our digitally driven environment, it’s important to remember your manners

Here’s my list of top 10 LinkedIn Etiquette Rules:

  1. Use your Status Updates wisely. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, be sure to keep your LinkedIn Status Updates professional and helpful. Your business connections don’t to hear about your wild and crazy Final Four tailgate, especially if you didn’t invite them!!!
  2. Be responsive. If you’re not in the habit of regularly logging into your LinkedIn account, start now or forward your LinkedIn E-mail to your regular E-mail! Respond to “Link Requests” and messages in a timely manner. Not only does this show your professionalism, but it builds your Personal brand and relationships with the members of your business network.
  3. Upload a profile picture! I honestly can’t emphasize this enough. But, despite my best efforts, there are still creepy, photo-less LinkedIn Profiles everywhere on LinkedIn!!!
  4. Dont’ be a LinkedIn stalker. If someone does not respond to a message you sent them, try following up 5 business days later. If they still don’t respond, send one more message (maybe two) a week apart. Persistence does pay off, but you don’t want to spur the person to take out a restraining order.  Sometimes “no response” means “no”.
  5. Spell check. Spell check. SPELL CHECK. Nothing says “unprofessional” like a misspelled, grammatically incorrect message, Profile or Status Update. Carefully and meticulously re-read every post or update before sending it. Treat your LinkedIn profile like a resume – you’d never want a typo on your resume, and the same goes for LinkedIn.
  6. Steer clear of auto-generated messages. When sending a “Link Request”, Introduction, or Recommendation, include a personal message. Avoid: “I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn Network” at all costs.
  7. Tell the person why you want to connect. Avoid sending “Link Requests” to people you don’t know without letting them know why you want to connect to them and how you found them. If you follow this rule, not only will more people accept your “Link Requests”, but you will be getting a better start on building a relationship with those you connect with. And isn’t business networking about building relationships, not just building electronic links?
  8. Send thank you notes.  What did your mother teach you? Always acknowledge the kindness, gifts, and favors you receive with a thank you note. So send a thank you note when someone:
  • Writes a Recommendation for you
  • Likes or comments on your Status Update, Group Comments or Answers
  • Accepts “Link Request”
  • Gives you an introduction to someone

Even in the digital world, “please” and “thank you” goes a long way toward building relationships.

  1.  Don’t self-promote in Groups. Or if you do, give extensive value first and tread lightly. Some LinkedIn Groups will delete your membership if you violate this rule more than once.
  2. Make sure your Group posts are relevant. Don’t add content or promotions in Groups that do not support the charter of the Group.
  3. Follow Group Rules.  Each LinkedIn Group has a different set of rules. Make sure you review their rules and avoid breaking them at all costs.


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