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LinkedIn can be an extremely valuable tool for executives. However, not knowing how to use it properly can also damage your reputation without you even knowing. LinkedIn isn’t difficult to use, but there are some unwritten rules about etiquette that many executives overlook. If you’re going to spend the time to write your executive profile on your LinkedIn page, you owe it to yourself to be familiar with these unwritten LinkedIn rules executives sometimes violate.

Personalize Your Connection Requests

When you connect with someone on LinkedIn, you could use the default message LinkedIn provides, or you could personalize it. Personalizing the request is valuable in many ways. You could state how you met the person, just in case it was at a networking event where they met dozens of other people. Or you could simply say you’re impressed with their profile and admire their work. Either way, a personalized request makes a much better impression.

Adjust Settings When Updating Your Profile

When you need to optimize your LinkedIn profile, you’re likely going to change a lot of different sections of it. What you may not know is all of your connections will see each and every change you make if you don’t update your settings accordingly. Go into the Privacy Controls of your profile and turn off update notifications to spare your connections from dozens of notifications. Turn it back on when you’re done updating it, so your connections will only see the important changes going forward.

Give Endorsements and Recommendations

linkedin rulesThe top resume writing services will tell you not to put too much emphasis on endorsements and recommendations through LinkedIn. However, giving and receiving the proper ones is important. Don’t ask for an endorsement from someone you didn’t work with directly. On the other hand, it’s not appropriate to give an endorsement or recommendation to someone you didn’t work with closely. These should be personalized and well thought out, so make them meaningful.

Connect With The Right People

If you’re actively searching for a job, connect with people who work in the same industry as you. With LinkedIn groups, you don’t even have to make a connection request until you get to know them as part of the group. It takes a little time to get to know someone through LinkedIn, but a single quality connection is much more valuable than a dozen connections from people you never met or have any association with at all.

* By Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She has achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Find Erin at http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com.