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Social networking sites have grown tremendously in the 21st century. People are more often than not spending much of their time online either connecting with friends, clients or just doing research.

The need for having an online community resulted into the formation of networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Badoo amongst many others. While Facebook and other networks have their activities centered on connecting with friend, family and social life, LinkedIn singles out itself as a purely professional and business network.

It is a platform where employers and employees in addition to displaying their profiles network for the best talents and work environments. That said, there are a number of things that you ought not to do on the LinkedIn platform if you are to derive maximum benefit from it.

Sending Invitations to Strangers

Most of the people you connect with on LinkedIn are professionals with a reputation and are looking for networking opportunities. It’s important that you cultivate your list of connections carefully so that you can make meaningful connections. Unlike Twitter, where the more followers you have the better, LinkedIn is a more deliberate way of meeting peers. Before sending out a random invitation, ask a shared connection for an introduction.

Posting of Fake Photos on Your Profile

Photos can have a significant effect on your relationships with people online. LinkedIn being a professional site needs professionalism to be exercised at every level of interaction. Unfortunately, some users in their attempt to woo friends and connects have gone a step ahead to post photos which are unprofessional (pets, wildlife or logos). This is unacceptable and violates the code of conduct on the LinkedIn platform.

Inaccurate or Embellished Profiles

Your profile is your online face on LinkedIn. The abilities, experience and qualifications that you indicate should be accurate as these are normally used by potential employers in hunt for talent. It will be embarrassing to you if you indicate a skill that in essence you do not have only to be contacted by a potential employer. This will jeopardize your future efforts of securing a job bearing in mind that information travels fast and more so negative information.

Sending Messages without Purpose

Messages have an impact both to the sender and the recipient. On LinkedIn most of the messages sent have a business connotation or a professional in nature. The dangers with sending aimless messages to professionals on the network include being ignored and being blacklisted for any future opportunities that may arise. This will beat the logic of your existence on the network. Ensure that every message you send has a goal to achieve and is directed to the right person in the right manner.

Spamming Groups

If you participate in groups, it’s important to be helpful and contribute value. If you’re trying to find a job, or want to promote your own professional endeavors, promotional messages will only be marked as spam and ignored by the rest of the group. Before posting, ask yourself: Would I want to read this message or would I ignore it?

Follow these simple tips to make the most of your LinkedIn efforts.

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