Friday, April 29, 2011

Sound Advice for LinkedIn

The Job Doc has some good advice for how to behave on LinkedIn:
Avoid these 4 mistakes with LinkedIn

1) Never inviting anyone.

Hmm, this one's tempting. No one likes rejection; it forces you to relive high school. ... Last week, I invited 20 people to LinkedIn. Most accepted, a few ignored me. Nothing terrible happened.

2) Bad timing.

... Timing matters. Are your LinkedIn invitations too late, or too early? "Don't invite within two hours of meeting," says Rod Hughes, Director of Communications, Oxford Communications. "I typically wait till the next day," advises Rod. "Anything sooner seems stalker-esque."

3) Inviting everyone.

... "You need a policy," says Thom Singer, author of several networking books. "My policy," says Thom, "is The Coffee, Meal or Beer Rule, which means not accepting links unless I've had a real conversation."

4) Bad invitation.

At LinkedIn, the default invite is, "I'd like to add you to my professional network." But that's robotic. ... Tip: For better results, deliver a better invitation.

How do you go about inviting people into your network? Could you improve the way you go about it? I know I've used the default invitation far too often: usually because I'm in a hurry. Even a more personal default would be better than the LinkedIn default.

LinkedIn isn't Facebook either, where you can invite anyone on a whim. I've received a number of unwanted or unexpected invitations, some of which I probably should not have accepted given the "coffee, meal, or bear" rule. Those contacts I put in a "monitor" category, since I do not know these people very well and I'm not sure I want the association. Should their behavior be questionable, I remove the association with the contact.

What about you? How do you go about adding contacts?

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