5 surprising answers to common questions about LinkedIn
I get a lot of questions about LinkedIn.
LinkedIn and I, we go way back.
We have a bit of a love/hate thing going on.
Thanks to LinkedIn I was able to grow my network and my businesses pretty fast.
But LinkedIn made some strange decisions and changes lately.
Don’t always like these changes.
And I’m not the only one.
Anyway, a lot of people are aware that I know a thing or two about LinkedIn.
So they ask me many questions about it.
And sometimes I have surprising answers.
Answers that even surprise me (well, that would surprise the older me).
Let’s cover 5 of the common questions I often get and my answers.
Feel free to react if you agree or disagree.
>>> And obviously, feel free to share with whomever it may concern.
- Should I connect with people I don’t know?
My answer – yes, you could. Even though LinkedIn mentions you should not connect with people you don’t know, LinkedIn is the best social platform to grow your professional network online and offline. I’m convinced it is a huge mistake to say no to all those interesting people and opportunities. This being said, you should not connect with everyone who sends you an invitation either. There are fake profiles out there, there are people who want to connect for the wrong reasons, etc….
My approach: What’s their profession? Are our professional ambitions aligned? Do we have at least 10 common connections? Where are they located? Do they have a profile photo (not a logo or worse, nothing)?
You should ask yourself the same questions before sending an invitation. And when you do send an invitation, please add a small intro text explaining to them why we should connect.
I used to make a big deal of people sending me an invite without that intro text. However, as 99.9% is too lazy to add this intro, I stopped being irritated by it.
Again, you can immediately make a good impression if you add that little intro text.
- Should I hide my network from other people?
LinkedIn gives you the possibility to hide your network from others, by asking you ‘who can see your connections’
There are 2 possibilities: only you or your connections.
This means that when you choose ‘only you’, others will only see the connections they have in common with you.
I strongly believe in an open network and in the giving, connecting approach.
I think it is silly and narrow-minded and so 20th century to hide your network from others.
And if you are afraid your competitors will benefit from that, well, then don’t connect with them in the first place. I hope you don’t mind me being blunt here.
- Should I write an article or share a post?
Not so long ago LinkedIn introduced “Publish a post” (which is called “Write an article” now). The idea was to create some kind of blog site on LinkedIn. Good thing was that your network was notified when you published a post.
I loved this, and I used to advise all my (blogging) clients to use this platform.
However, a little while later LinkedIn inserted an algorithm which meant that only about 2-5% of your network is notified when you publish.
This is a pity.
So even though I still use “write an article” I am more and more in favor of sharing a post (instead of writing an article) because I have noticed that I get much more views. Beware, the views don’t tell you everything either. It’s not very reliable. Better concentrate on the number of likes and shares if you want to measure something on LinkedIn.
- Should I mention “looking for a new opportunity” in the headline?
I have had a lot of discussions with numerous recruiters and headhunters on this topic.
In my opinion, you should NOT put “looking for a new opportunity” in your headline.
- It gives the impression you are desperate.
- You are better than that. You have skills, talents, experience. You have a lot to offer to your next employer or client. Don’t waste it with a pitiful headline. Instead, create a headline and summary that tells your reader what you can do for them.
- Last but not least. What’s an “opportunity” anyway? What kind of opportunity are you looking for?
Some recruiters tell me they like the “looking for a new job”. Reason: “I will be able to help the candidate find the right position.”
I’m gonna sound blunt again, but do I have to believe that? Or is it just easier for your search?
- Should I use keywords in my LinkedIn profile?
Yes and no.
LinkedIn is not Google.
When people are searching on Google, they use keywords and key phrases.
On LinkedIn, they look for people. They search for names, rarely for skills. And another difference is that you often ‘discover’ people instead of only ‘searching’ for them.
So in other words, using keywords in your profile like you would do for S.E.O. sake on your website is not that relevant.
Does this mean you should not use keywords at all?
I believe you should. Add them to your headline and summary (specialties section). Not because it will allow you to be found easily. However, in case your target audience stumbles upon your profile and reads the headline and the first words of your summary, you better want to make sure your headline and summary make it very clear what you can do for your target audience. And keywords can just do that.
Your turn – share your common question and/or surprising answer