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Business Etiquette On LinkedIn

June 17, 2013 By admin | Write Comment

I recently read a blog post by Alison Green (@AskAManager) suggesting that some feel connecting to individuals on LinkedIn for the express purpose of getting to a hiring manager at a company is simply “bad form”.  It might indeed be inappropriate if you contacted a person asking “who is the hiring manager for this job posting?”.  Why would someone who didn’t know you from Adam/Eve pass your information along to the hiring manager?  If a person walked into your office off of the street and asked to see the hiring manager, would you go get them?  Probably not – you’d likely say something like “we’re not hiring right now” and send them on their way.

LinkedIn was designed to be a connection place for professionals.  Business etiquette would apply here the same as when using the telephone or written correspondence.  The internet may have made connecting with people easier, but it shouldn’t change things like common courtesy.

How about introducing yourself first?  Send someone from the company a connection request with a personal message included, which introduces yourself, and says something like you came across their company on LinkedIn and found it very interesting.  You would like to learn more about the company, and ask if there is someone who could give you more information.  Now you’ve complemented them by indicating they work for what appears to be an interesting company, and you are simply asking to be directed to someone who could help you learn more.  Nothing  says you’re job hunting.  This person may respond to your request with a referral to someone else in the company, or they may give you some information themselves.  Either way, you’ve started a dialog with them.  Friendly, innocent, and simple.

Even if you’re not job hunting, I recommend you work to connect with other firms in your area that are competitors, or firms that employ people who do what you do. Developing these connections links you with people who do what you do, and who doesn’t need these kinds of people as friends?  This has been done for years, when employees meet employees from other firms at conventions or seminars or classes.  Now, LinkedIn provides one more way to connect to others.

Next post, we’ll discuss groups.  Stay tuned!

Michael Paulson

Follow Michael @paulsonmichaelj

CareerToolbox international, LLC

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