Professional social media platforms such as LinkedIn are a great way to keep in touch with colleagues, present your professional image, and conduct your job search. Keep in mind some essential LinkedIn etiquette as you build your profile, cultivate your network, and search for jobs.

  1. LinkedIn is for professional networking. Respect the people in your network enough not to waste their time with items that belong on more personal social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. In the same vein, think before you post something humorous, as what some may find funny others may find tasteless or offensive.
  2. Don’t connect with people you do not know or have no real connection to. Before you send a connection request ask yourself the following questions: do you know this person? Do you have a shared connection? Is this person in a group with you? If you send an invitation to a person you don’t know, it may be marked as spam. If too many of your messages are marked as spam LinkedIn will freeze your account.
  3. Personalize your messages. When you reach out to request a connection or a recommendation, avoid using the default message LinkedIn provides. Note that when you select the “connect” button when LinkedIn suggests people you may know that you do not have the opportunity to personalize the request. If you would like to include a personalized message, ensure that you connect to a person directly from their LinkedIn profile.
  4. Endorse your connections for their skills. This is especially important when you would like your connections to endorse you for your skills. Make sure that you are endorsing your connections for skills that you have actually witnessed or benefitted from. Don’t just endorse them willy-nilly.
  5. Use discretion when you request a recommendation. As in real life, recognize that you are asking someone to vouch for you. Value their reputation. This is a big deal. Consider writing a thoughtful recommendation for the person from whom you have requested a recommendation.
  6. Don’t annoy those from whom you’ve asked a favor. Although you can send reminders to people from whom you have requested recommendations, use your discretion. Don’t bombard your connections with notifications and requests.
  7. Personalize introductions. When a connection requests an introduction to another of your connections, if you decide you want to make the introduction, make it thoughtful. Check out the article, A ‘Stunningly Good’ LinkedIn Introduction, for more insight.

Still searching for more in-depth assistance regarding your transition, education, or job search? Contact your installation’s Transition Readiness and Family Member Employment Assistance staff and ask the Marine For Life Network on LinkedIn.