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LinkedIn’s etiquette for job seekers

If you’re a job seeker who hasn’t been using LinkedIn for too long, you might not know much about LinkedIn’s etiquette.

Here are a list of do’s and don’ts to help you navigate through this virtual world of business.

Hide your activity

When you’re looking for a job or planning to undertake a new one, the first thing you want to do is to update your LinkedIn profile either by updating your summary, sharing a new post, joining a new group or follow a company.

However, be careful not to alert your current boss of all these new activities so he/she will not get suspicious.

How to protect your privacy and keep your integrity while you freely explore new opportunities?

Go to Privacy & Settings > Profile > Privacy Controls > Turn on/off your activity broadcasts. This will prevent edits to your profile from appearing in LinkedIn’s feed of updates, on your boss’ homepage. After unchecking that box, feel free to make updates, follow companies and apply to jobs via LinkedIn without stressing yourself.

Make your profile public

Turn on your public profile so others can see when you’ve viewed their profiles. This can help notify the right people that you’re interested in their work (visiting their profile). If you visit an HR manager at a company you’re interested in working for, you want him/her to see your profile and know that you’re checking their profile not only the company’s page.

To turn on your public profile, go to Privacy & Settings > Profile > Privacy Controls > Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile and click “your name and headline.”

Maintain transparency of your career history

A common mistake job seekers make on LinkedIn is not accounting for gaps in their employment histories. We’ve all chosen to work in jobs that don’t align with our career path for one reason or another, or simply took some time off to reflect or study. While you may not find it suitable to mention that time when you worked for a fast food place 5 years ago; try to explain the gap in your CV using the summary part of your LinkedIn profile.

But don’t just strike out any working experience that you think doesn’t resonate with your career goals. A totally different work experience might say something good about you and impress a potential employer that you haven’t considered before.

Get to know the influencers at that company

Use your advanced search skills to find the hiring manager behind the position you’re applying for. Try connecting with that person. If that works, introduce yourself in the most appropriate way possible and find out what you have in common. Try to build a rapport before you ask about the job position at their company.People are much more responsive when they know you’ve taken the time to care.

Updated: November 7, 2014 — 10:52 am
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