5 Ridiculous LinkedIn Mistakes You Need to Immediately Stop Making

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LinkedIn is the epicenter of many of our professional lives, the place where we get our news, share our views, and engage with our colleagues.

And, as with any large social network, there are etiquette gaffes that happen specifically on that platform. I get it.

I’m not here to demonize anyone who’s messed up. I’m the first to admit I’ve made many of these mistakes. Hopefully, though, after reading this list, you’ll consider revising yours.

Email your LinkedIn network via a third party.

I’ve done this before. I’m not proud of it. It’s a horrible breach of trust. It’s also illegal, according to CAN SPAM laws. Keep your communication with your network on LinkedIn and you’ll do just fine.

Sell to someone you’ve just connected with.

This is the equivalent of asking someone to come home with you right after you’ve met them. You just don’t do it. Plus, it never works.

Take some time to research the person you’ve just connected with. Reach out to them if you must, but engage them in conversation first. More on that below.

Email your connections and tell them to like and share your content.

Write great content. Write it often. If you feel like you want a contact to see the content, send it to them with no strings — no request to share, engage, or comment.

If you feel you must reach out and ask for support, great. But make sure you’re reaching out to a warm audience who expects to hear from you.

Spam connections with endorsements.

We just met. You don’t know me. Don’t add a flurry of endorsements to get in my good graces.

Write a summary in the third person.

This isn’t your resume. We’re past the point of believing that you’re not writing your summary yourself. Chris hates when you do that.

What now?

  • Do create and share good content relative to your industry.
  • Do join and create groups.
  • Do make sure your network sees your content by tagging everyone when appropriate.
  • Do adjust your privacy settings so your current employer doesn’t see that you’re investigating a new job.
  • Do customize your connection outreach.

LinkedIn has added default notifications. They are there to prompt you into action, not to communicate on your behalf. Customize it and stand out from the crowd.

Which is better?

“I’d like to add you to my network on LinkedIn”


“Great meeting you yesterday. I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your business here.”

  • Do listen: Leverage LinkedIn as a tool to help educate you about the company you want to work for, or the executive that inspires you.
  • Do add a clear photo — and take off the sunglasses. You may want to smile, too.
  • Do ask for introductions.

What have I missed? Comment below, and let me know!


Thanks for reading. This article was originally published in my column for INC.com. My name is Chris Dessi. I’m CEO of Silverback Social.

I’m also author of Remarkable You: Build a Personal Brand and Take Charge of Your Career. If you’d like to read the first chapter of Remarkable You for free, just head here.

Here are my most popular articles from my column on INC.


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