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For many people, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram come naturally but LinkedIn seems like a whole other ball game. What if someone you worked with years ago doesn’t remember you when you sent him or her a connection request? Is it okay to add people you look up to but don’t know personally? What is it okay to post on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn seems to stress people out the most out of all the social networks, so today we look at some Do’s and Don’ts of LinkedIn etiquette.

Do

Personalise your connection requests instead of leaving the generic “I would like to add you to my LinkedIn network.” Many people just shun these generic requests aside, and if you worked with this person a long time ago, a personalised message can trigger their memory if you’re worried they won’t remember you. If too many people hit “I don’t know you” on your request, your account may be partially restricted (you will need to enter in email addresses to add others).

Do

Have a clean, professional profile photo of yourself. While there are no real guidelines on this, cheeky selfies are probably not a good idea in such a professional arena. Employers often look up LinkedIn profiles when choosing candidates to interview and the last thing you want is to look unprofessional even before you’ve entered the interview room.

Do

Introduce your LinkedIn connections where possible. The easiest way to do this is to compose a new inbox message, sending it to the people you’re introducing to each other. By offering referrals to your connections, you heighten your chance of getting referrals yourself. LinkedIn is a game of give and take and if you can help out your peers, some day they’ll seek to help you back!

Do

Garner relationships with others and reply promptly to your messages (probably within 1-2 days). This can mean a simple “congratulations”, a positive comment or your two cents on a recent update or link. This shows your connections that you’re proactive on LinkedIn, happy to hear of others’ successes and also makes it really easy to start a conversation in future.

Don’t

Don’t ask those you don’t know for recommendations or give recommendations to those you don’t know. There’s really nothing more to say on this than it can result in much awkwardness.

Don’t

LinkedIn is no Twitter, so it’s not okay to post 5 or 6 times a day here. The absolute maximum you should post daily is twice, and try to keep self-promotion to a minimum.

Don’t

If you can see that someone has viewed your profile and you’d like to touch base, don’t connect with them in an awkward or confrontational way. You may not want to start the message with “I see you viewed my profile…” Think of this feature as an unspoken rule of LinkedIn – some people may find it uncomfortable to hear others speak outwardly of the web-stalking that they’ve done.

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