LinkedIn Etiquette…How to Be Your Best Self

Author: Mic Johnson, talking about LinkedIn etiquette. 

Blue Gurus LinkedIn Training In Kansas City

LinkedIn launched as a platform in 2003. It’s older than Facebook (February 2004) and Twitter (March 2006).

Even though LinkedIn is 14 years old and boasts 500 million users worldwide, there are still plenty of users who could use a LinkedIn etiquette refresher.

One thing is certain: Extended lapses in LinkedIn etiquette lead to confusion and negatively reflect on you and your employer.

That’s just one of the reasons why we’ve been training companies on LinkedIn for the last 8 years.

With that in mind, here are a few LinkedIn etiquette tips to keep in mind as you continue to use the platform.

LinkedIn Etiquette Tips

Customize Your LinkedIn Invitations

Don’t ever send the “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message ever again!

Not personalizing your invitation requests creates awkward and unnecessary confusion for the recipient. Tell the person why you’re interested in connecting and why they should consider connecting with you. Always be personal, human and authentic in your messaging.

Don’t use LinkedIn as a Dating Site

This one really should go without saying, but unfortunately it happens. I’m guessing some of you reading this post have dealt with it yourself or have heard stories from people you know. There are plenty of dating sites/apps out there. LinkedIn isn’t one of them.

When Someone Engages with You on LinkedIn, Respond Back in Kind

This falls under the “treat others as you’d like to be treated” mantra.

With few exceptions (annoying sales pitches, pushy recruiters, someone asking you out on a date, etc), if someone comments on something you’ve published or shared on LinkedIn, reply back.

Even if your reply is something as simple as “Thank you for the comment. I appreciate it.” And when someone sends you a message on LinkedIn, (yep, you guessed it), reply back.

You never know where simply engaging with other people will lead to. Let them know you’re paying attention. Let them know you care enough to reply back.

For the Love of All Things LinkedIn, Complete Your Profile

This is another one we’ve been preaching for years in our training sessions. If you have a profile on LinkedIn, do yourself and everyone else a favor and complete you profile.

-Upload a smiling, current headshot with a clean background.
-Write a LinkedIn Summary using “I” language that tells people who you are, what you do and how you can help.
-Complete the Experience section of your profile so people know what you’ve done in your career.
-Include relevant contact information and links to your website.

Those are just a few of the basics. Ultimately, your profile should be easy to read and be an accurate representation of who you are personally and professionally.

Write a Well Thought Out Recommendation for Your Most Awesome LinkedIn Connections

When was the last time you wrote a LinkedIn Recommendation?

If the answer is somewhere just short of NEVER, set a goal of writing a recommendation for someone in the next week.

Think about a person you’ve worked with, or referred business to, or who has helped you professionally, or someone you have great respect for.

When you have that person in mind, go to their profile, click on the three little dots to the right of their profile picture, and write a well thought out recommendation. Let me know how it felt and what you heard from the person you wrote the recommendation for.

Thank you for taking a little time out of your day to read this post. If your company, or a team within your company, could benefit from LinkedIn Training, give me a shout!

6 Hidden LinkedIn Features That Shouldn’t Be Hidden

Post author: Mic Johnson

Full disclosure. I’m a big fan of LinkedIn. I’ve been using it for the better part of the last 10 years…first as a recruiter and now as someone who trains others how to best leverage LinkedIn personally and professionally.

But I’ve never been a fan of the way LinkedIn makes it hard for people to see and do things that should be more prominent on the site. I hear the same feedback from people all of the time who say that LinkedIn isn’t user-friendly. That isn’t what you’d expect from a social network that’s been around for almost 14 years.

LinkedIn has all kinds of hidden features that shouldn't be hidden. Click To Tweet

With that in mind, I’m going to lift the veil on a few of those hidden features until LinkedIn makes them easier for everyone to find.

(NOTE: The features I’m highlighting are best viewed from a web browser (which is honestly where I still use LinkedIn the most) instead of their still-much-to-be-left-desired mobile app.)

Personalized LinkedIn Invitation1. Personalizing LinkedIn Invitations

This has been my #1 pet peeve with LinkedIn FOR YEARS. I have no idea why they won’t make it easier to personalize invitations. The way they have it set up currently DISCOURAGES engagement between LinkedIn users. Here’s the deal…

ConnectIf you click the blue CONNECT button just about anywhere on LinkedIn, it will automatically send the “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message.

UNLESS you’re on someone’s profile (on a web browser), and click the button there, then you’ll see the option to personalize your invitation as shown in the image here. (Or, if you’re on mobile and you’re on someone’s profile, you can click the three little dots in the upper right hand corner for an option to personalize your invitation.)

What really bothers me is NONE of this isn’t intuitive.

Most people will see a big blue CONNECT button and just click it….which is why all of us get countless impersonal “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” messages from people we don’t know and wonder why they want to connect. #LinkedInFail

Which takes me to my next point….

Pending LinkedIn Invitations2. How to Reply to Invitation Requests From People and See If They Wrote You a Personalized Message

When you hover over the icon showing you have pending invitations and then click on the words “Pending invitations” you get a page with the photo of the people who have sent you invites. But you don’t see a message from them, do you? NOPE. Why?

How to see a LinkedIn messageBecause in order to see if they wrote a personalized message, you have to click the little “quotes” and then an expanded window pops open.

What makes this even worse is if someone wrote you a personalized message that you never saw because you just clicked “ACCEPT” or “IGNORE” instead of hitting the little quotes.

I can’t imagine the number of times personalized messages are being completely missed because of this LinkedIn “hidden feature.”

It discourages engagement and it’s not intuitive. #LinkedInFail

3. Update Your Privacy and Other Settings

Privacy and SettingsDid you even know this was possible? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably NO. Why?

Because it’s hidden underneath your small profile picture in the upper right hand corner and you have to click that image to see the privacy and other options.

Again, sensing a theme here? Not intuitive. #LinkedInFail

4. How Many LinkedIn Active Sessions Do You Have Going?

LinkedIn Active SessionsI just found this setting the other day. If you go into your Privacy & Settings and click on ACCOUNT, you’ll see “Where you’re signed in.”

When I did it, I had TEN active LinkedIn sessions going…and one was from 3 months ago!

You can easily sign out of unwanted active sessions here, so that’s awesome. But again, LinkedIn makes you hunt to find this hidden feature, and that’s why it earns the #LinkedInFail.

Most Recent Updates5. Top Updates vs. Recent Updates

This is one of my bigger pet peeves with LinkedIn. Like any effective LinkedIn user, I spend time engaging with my connections by viewing/liking/commenting on their updates that appear in my “HOME” feed.

Little did I know that LinkedIn has the default view set to “Top Updates” instead of “Recent Updates.”

If you click HOME and then look right under “Publish a Post”, you will see three little dots like you see in this image here. Then select Recent Updates. I found there were several updates from my network that I wasn’t seeing because of the default “Top Updates” setup.

Also, and even more annoying, if you click away from the home page to another part of LinkedIn and then come back…yep, you guessed it, it defaults back to Top Updates.

I’m not a fan of social networks (Facebook does this too) choosing what they think I want to see instead of the other way around. #LinkedInFail

LinkedIn Relationship Tab6.  Relationship Tab

When you’re on the profile page of one of your connections, tucked right underneath their photo is the Relationship tab. Most people, myself included, haven’t paid much attention to this section.

From here, you can jot down notes about the person, set follow up reminders and tag (put the person in a category such as “Prospects”) them so they can be included, and sorted, among your contacts.

This could be a great feature and used more often, but the way it’s laid out in LinkedIn makes it missed more often than not. #LinkedInFail

In summary, LinkedIn is one of the best tools out there for connecting with people in business, finding people you share in common with others, and consuming and sharing quality content.

But LinkedIn needs to spend more time making the user experience more intuitive and and stop forcing people to click around to find hidden features. Until that day comes,I guess I’ll keep writing about them.

What other LinkedIn hidden features have you found? What recommendations do you have to help them improve the end user experience? Share your Comments below for us and our readers…and, as always, thank you for your support of Blue Gurus!

Don’t Look At My LinkedIn Profile

MicLinkedInPost Author: Mic Johnson

I’ve been training individuals and teams on LinkedIn for over 5 years.

And there’s one thing I hear at every training session (as well as when I meet people and tell them that LinkedIn Training is one of the things I do for a living):


Actually it usually comes out something like: “Oh, don’t look at my profile. It’s horrible.” OR “I haven’t touched my profile in months.” OR “I really need to update my profile.” OR “I haven’t touched my profile since I first got on LinkedIn.”

But here’s the deal. I am looking at your LinkedIn profile. And so are other people. Lots of them. Every. Single. Day.

Some are people you know. Some are people you’ve recently met. Some are people who you’re meeting with soon who want to learn more about you before you get together. Some are people who you have no idea who they are or why they are looking at your profile.

WhoviewedyourprofileThey may be recruiters. They may be Executives. They may be looking to sell you something. They may be looking to buy from you or you company. They may be competitors. They may be someone looking to partner with you. They may be looking to see what recommendations you’ve received from people on LinkedIn. They may be comparing you to other people that are in the running for the same job or business opportunity.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times:

Your LinkedIn Profile isn’t for you. It’s for everyone that comes and looks at your profile. What are you telling them?

1. Do you have a good quality picture?

2. Have you personalized your professional headline?

3. Have you shared your personal and professional story on your LinkedIn Summary?

4. Have you shared relevant experiences and accomplishments in your work history?

5. Have you included any photos/videos/presentations that will help people learn more about you and what you do?

6. Have you listed your relevant skills so people can endorse you?

If you answered NO to one or more of these questions, then do yourself (and all of the people that will look at your profile from now until you retire) a favor and set up a time to update your LinkedIn profile. Even better, set up a recurring calendar appointment to review your profile every 6 months.

At the end of the day, I’m just trying to help you embrace what I’ve been preaching for years: Your LinkedIn Profile shouldn’t be something you’re embarrassed about. It should be something you’re proud of.

Want To Make Someone’s Day On LinkedIn? Do This.

Post written by Mic Johnson, Blog Coach | LinkedIn Trainer | WordPress Web Site Guy | Rational Optimist | Jayhawk | Sushi Lover | Cancer Volunteer

I often tell people during LinkedIn Training Sessions that it’s ok to do a 1-click endorsement of someone on their LinkedIn profile, but I immediately follow that up with “It’s the lazy man’s LinkedIn Recommendation.”

I would have preferred for LinkedIn to have made a more concentrated effort to push the LinkedIn feature that I believe is far more valuable: LinkedIn Recommendations

When it comes to your “What should I do in LinkedIn each week?” time, I encourage people to take just a few minutes to write a LinkedIn recommendation for someone that they’ve worked with/trust/respect/admire that’s awesome.

Now be honest here: I’m guessing most people that are reading this have probably never written a LinkedIn recommendation for someone else. That’s ok. I have good news for you. It’s not hard and it only takes a few minutes.

Jacob Wayman LinkedIn

Recently an awesome person in my life refreshed my memory of the true value of a LinkedIn recommendation. It adds so much more value to the person receiving the recommendation (and to their LinkedIn profile) than a 1-click endorsement does. Read more

10 Reasons Why Your Business Should NOT Be On LinkedIn

Nearly every business owner out there is trying to figure out social media and whether their business should do it, how to do it, when to do it, who to do it with, how many people in the company should do it, what department it falls under, what the ROI is, why they shouldn’t do it, why they don’t have time to do it, why they don’t have the resources to do it, and on…and on….and on.

This is a topic that we could talk about for hours on end (and many businesses continue to do just that vs. just getting started), so to keep it simple, I’m going to focus right now on the….

10 Reasons Your Business Should NOT Be On LinkedIn  Read more