Tips on Using LinkedIn Ethically & Effectively

Professional networking can be a nerve-racking process, especially for recent graduates with little real-world experience. Many adults young and old want to stand out but are shy or nervous in a networking setting. They have to fight that introverted feeling to really build up their networks.

For Gen Y’ers (like myself) who grew up communicating through AOL Instant Messenger and Facebook, in-person networking may be especially stressful. In fact, if you think about it, we’ve used these digital tools to communicate on so many levels, from breaking up or getting together with a significant other to sharing a baby’s birth or engagement to finding a job. So, it would seem LinkedIn would be the perfect tool for current and soon-to-be professionals. Using LinkedIn, they can build their professional networks without even leaving change from their PJ’s or leaving their bedrooms!

LinkedIn logo

But, while LinkedIn certainly has its uses, will Gen Y be able to use it effectively and ethically? Here are three LinkedIn features and tips ethically minded Millennials may want to keep in mind on LinkedIn.

1. Recommendations

Are LinkedIn recommendations useful? It depends how users obtain them; if they follow similar ethical procedures you would follow for offline recommendations, then they’re probably quite useful. For example, would you ever ask a best friend with no professional affiliation with you to write you a letter of recommendation? Maybe, but you’d be more likely to ask a former supervisor who loved a project you worked on under him as an intern. The dilemma on LinkedIn, though, is that often a person viewing your profile won’t know that you and your best friend agreed to give each other stellar recommendations to look good. Because giving recommendations on LinkedIn is so seemingly simple, why wouldn’t you ask your BFF or mom or boyfriend?

Hopefully, you would consider that it’s unfair to employers who obviously won’t know about that “agreement.” Continue reading “Tips on Using LinkedIn Ethically & Effectively”