10 LinkedIn Best (and Worst) Practices

By Jill Kennedy of That’s the Idea


LinkedIn is quickly becoming one of the most active social networks. Users are keen on demonstrating their professionalism by engaging with other users by liking, sharing and commenting on their posts and by posting original content through LinkedIn’s publishing tool. But like all things in business, there are best – and worst – practices.


Read on to learn dos and don’ts to help you manage your LinkedIn profile to the best ability.


DO post content that pertains to your message or inspires your connections.

As a general rule, always post content that depicts your personal brand in a positive and professional manner. Share photos and videos of you representing your company, pursuing your goals and passions or helping your community. Ultimately, you should share articles that benefit your connections.


DON’T post irrelevant, personal content outside your industry. 

Don’t post a photo of last night’s bar tab or an “inspiring” quote full of swear words. It is important to recognize the social element as an equal part to the professional element when posting on LinkedIn. Be yourself but also be aware of your personal brand.


DO ask to meet for a coffee after you’ve connected with someone.

After you’ve been introduced to a new connection, whether in person, on the phone or online, request a meeting with them to get to understand their business better. It is challenging to meet with everyone on your connections list, so pick and choose the best connections that benefit your personal growth.


DON’T ask for a meeting before being officially introduced to someone.

A trending worst practice is users who connect with everyone on the “People You May Know” widget, whether they know them or not. Before you send out a request, write out a nice message detailing why you would like to connect. If they accept your connection, follow up with a request to meet to learn more about their business experience.





DO ask other people for endorsements or recommendations based on their knowledge of your expertise. 

After working for a business or with a client, request a recommendation by writing a short message to your contact on LinkedIn. Thank your contact for their time and ask how you can help build their LinkedIn presence.

Good to know: LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements must be completed by the other person through their profile so make sure to include that detail in your message.


DON’T message all of your connections to ask for endorsements. Be specific with who you ask.

The only connections you should ask for a recommendation or endorsement are those you have worked with and those who you know and trust to depict your personal brand professionally. Do not message any and all connections. Start by looking at past employers or colleagues and messaging them.


DO participate in LinkedIn discussions.

By posting and interacting regularly in LinkedIn groups that are specific to your industry, you will become a well-known name and build new connections outside your network. Active group members are known to receive 4x the amount of profile views.


DON’T write LinkedIn posts or comments in an unprofessional manner.

On LinkedIn, your personal brand is always showing. When interacting through the written word, always communicate succinctly and thoughtfully, and without spelling errors or improper sentence case. This will allow connections to view your written, professional voice in a way that makes you an appealing candidate for future opportunities.


DO make your profile public.

Many users have privatized their profiles and they don’t even know it! Allow future connections to see what you are up to and how your work experience translates to their own backgrounds. This access to information can make a big difference as you grow as a business professional.


And lastly, DON’T use LinkedIn to ask people out on dates. (Seriously, this happens.)

LinkedIn has become an “ideal” dating platform. You can know a connection’s current work experiences and view them at their peak of professionalism. However, LinkedIn is not a pick up website. Do not send others messages with a suggestion for a date. It is inappropriate and awkward. If you see an interesting person on LinkedIn, at the very least, meet with them in a professional setting, learn about their working background and gain a connection.


Follow these dos and don’ts to help you succeed as a LinkedIn professional and get the most out of the network. What dos and don’ts do you go by on LinkedIn? Comment below!

By Andrew Patricio

January 21, 2015