Job hunt etiquette: Networking do’s and don’ts

Job hunt etiquette: Networking do’s and don’ts

Breaking these unspoken rules of networking can tick off your peers and keep you from landing your dream job

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LinkedIn networking: Mind your manners

In-person networking is great when you can do it, but today much networking takes place virtually. Experts shared these specific rules of the road for networking on LinkedIn.

DO: Ask for help

“I have seen people land interviews simply from asking for help in a post on LinkedIn,” says Ellis. “List your career goals, showcase some of your major qualifications, achievements, education, certifications, and be open to trying new things. LinkedIn is different from most social media platforms in the sense that most active users are there to build their brands and help others do the same. There is a very supportive community on LinkedIn.”

DO: Connect on LinkedIn versus swapping email addresses

“Connect with anyone with whom you’ve had a relationship at your current job – regardless of their current position or role – in a way that you can upkeep even when you’re no longer at that job (and incidentally, because eventually, they will also leave it),” says Azulay. “The most obvious form would be ensuring you are linked on LinkedIn, which people tend to keep up-to-date regardless of their current job, as opposed to using their current work email, which will eventually become outdated when they move on.”

DO: Notice when a contact is inactive

“Check the engagement of the person you want to reach out to,” says Ellis. “If they haven't posted or engaged with anyone else's posts in months, they may not see your message anytime soon. Employers fill jobs very quickly, and you don’t want to miss an opportunity because you waited for a response.”

DO: Consider LinkedIn messages as important as emails

“LinkedIn is a vital networking tool in the modern work environment. Although it might be tempting to treat it like any other social media platform, you might actually be hurting your career opportunities if you neglect your LinkedIn inbox,” says Samuel Johns, hiring manager and career advisor at Resume Genius. “After all, you never know if a correspondent is someone who’s been impressed by your previous work and wants to connect because they have the perfect opening for you in their firm.”

DO: Use LinkedIn messages to your advantage

“Ask connections that you actually know or have engaged with to make formal introductions via LinkedIn messenger,” says Ellis. “This way you have someone who is vouching for you and it increases the social pressure to help/respond.”

DON’T: Drown your profile or message in jargon

“‘Leveraging strategic change management to execute superior value opportunities’ might sound intelligent, but it’s a surefire way to turn off your network,” warns Johns. “Since LinkedIn is a quasi-social media platform, plain English is the best option. While it is a career networking site, using too much jargon will damage your relationships with other users, since they don’t use the site with a completely 100 percent work-focused mentality.”

Other no-no’s on LinkedIn, whether you’re networking or not: Using an outdated picture, inundating contacts with sales inquiries, or feeding the trolls. Read also:  6 LinkedIn etiquette mistakes IT leaders hate

[ Get expert advice on standing out at interviews: Download our one-page IT job interview cheat sheet. ] 

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