In the past ten years, social media has transformed from a new up-and-coming trend to an essential of everyday life, in both social and professional worlds. Everyday people rely on social media websites to connect with friends and family and even for their daily dose of national and world news. Especially on a college campus, social media is consistently utilized for a wide variety of reasons.
Among the long list of social media sites, one of the newer sites out there is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social media site specially designed for networking and connecting with peers in the professional realm. By connecting with others within your career field, you can share your resume, ask former and current coworkers and supervisors to post recommendations and reach out to professionals for advice and mentoring opportunities.
The concept of LinkedIn is unique, and it is something that can truly transform the way companies recruit and reach out to new employees. Even though the concept behind LinkedIn is very professional, there seems to be a lack of understanding of this concept amongst many new LinkedIn members.
On my own personal LinkedIn account I have 37 outstanding requests to connect with people. It is not that I am unsure how to operate the site, or that I am unaware of these requests. Rather, I am ignoring them.
Each of those 37 connection requests are either students who I have had a class with once, acquaintances that have barely developed their own profile and even people I have never met from halfway across the world. I have chosen not to connect with these individuals because the profiles of those I connect with reflect back on how people view my own LinkedIn profile.
In order to utilize the site to its full ability and to maximize my ability to sell myself professionally, it’s important to connect with people who uphold similar values and professional integrity in the same career field.
LinkedIn isn’t Facebook, and you shouldn’t add all of your friends just because you want to have more connections. Doing so won’t give you a leg up in any profession setting.
According to an article on huffingtonpost.com titled “LinkedIn Tips: 9 Things You Should Never Do on The Social Network for Professionals,” you shouldn’t connect to anyone and everyone ‘just because’.
“The primary point of LinkedIn is to ‘connect’ with others in your field of work,” the article said. “But be careful with your connections: Do you know them personally? Did you do business together? Are they involved in your industry? Remember, LinkedIn is not Facebook and should not be treated as such.
Next time you add an acquaintance or friend “just because,” think twice before clicking the connect button. Treat the site the way it was designed to be used. Be selective of your requests and connection accepts, and leave the rest for Facebook.
Madeline is a senior journalism major from Downers Grove. She is the Scout managing editor.
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