Staying Professional On LinkedIn

Sometimes I raise an eyebrow at the things I see on LinkedIn. I’m talking about grammar/formatting and Twitter.

I’m not an expert but I have very specific views on how I think the network should be used. I was one of the first few in my college class to created a LinkedIn account, so my first connections were professors and professionals. I feel like that it was a good move because I got to see how the “real grown ups” did it.

Grammar/formatting

A friend and I were chatting about social networks and I was telling her about LinkedIn (she’s not currently on it) and some of the weird things I’d seen on it.

“You may think I’m really weird,” she said to me. “But sometimes I type things up in Word before putting them online to make sure I don’t look stupid.” Continue reading

Say Thanks!

Thanksgiving is coming up and more and more things are happening that make me realize how important it is to say “Thank you.” Honestly, it’s two words that go a really, really long way with people.

I was knee deep in wedding thank you notes when I got really sick with DKA and was admitted to the hospital, then the whirlwind of our lives happened and the thank you notes (75% written) sat unsent and I felt like scum. Everyone had been so generous and so supportive of us, but they were still waiting on a thank you note. In this case, I figured that “better late than never” applied.

In our everyday lives, expressions of gratitude are extremely important. But looking on a larger scale, and into the communication industry, gratitude goes a super long way with customers, supporters and partners. Saying “thank you” is a big part of customer service (as are using other basic manners).

Non-profits are usually great examples of organizations who have saying thanks down to an art. Without generosity and support they can’t succeed and they frequently acknowledge that. An organization which I particularly close to that does a fantastic job of saying thank you is Humane Ohio. I interned for them when I was a junior at Mount Union. They take gratitude seriously with a section of their e-news dedicated to saying thanks and constant social media updates about how awesome their volunteers are and about organizations that partner with them for fund raising.

A picture straight from the Humane Ohio Facebook page

Continue reading

I denied people on LinkedIn

I denied two people in the course of two days who wanted to connect with me via LinkedIn. I kind of felt like I committed a networking sin.

I have relatively few connections on LinkedIn, but in my defense I am a student who is still working very hard on building her network.

So why deny these connection requests? I do evaluate my connection requests when I receive them. I ask myself the following questions:

  • Do I know them?
  • How are we connected (personally, academically or professionally)?
  • Can they comment on work I’ve done?
  • Can I comment on work they’ve done?
  • Is this person a positive connection that I don’t mind potential employers viewing?

Request #1 came from a former coworker and also a graduate of Mount Union.

  • Yes, I knew her.
  • We were academically and pseudo professionally connected.
  • Yes, she can comment positively on work that I’ve done.
  • Yes, I can comment negatively on work she has done.
  • She is not a connection that I would want potentials employers to see.

I was actually quite surprised to see her request. When we worked together she never had a positive attitude about anything and her employment ended due to unethical behavior. I haven’t seen nor spoken with her since her abrupt end in employment. No matter how many nice things she could say about me, if I can’t say positive things about someone, I won’t connect with them.

Request #2 came from a very recent graduate of Mount Union.

  • Yes, I know her.
  • We only participated in Student Senate together, so we are academically connected.
  • She really can’t comment on much work I’ve done since we were on different committees.
  • I can only comment on an inconsistent communication and attendance record that she had.
  • We’re in different fields, aren’t friends and were never classmates so I don’t really think potential employers would care about the connection.

I turned this request down. Accepting it would only add one more person to the other person’s network.

I think I’m much more likely to accept a connection from someone I would be connected with professionally.

I am connected with a few people that I don’t know extremely well, but all of the answers to those questions lead me to believe it’s a positive connection.

Am I the only one who does this?