Here are my personal recommendations when asking for connections and working through LinkedIn:

1. Include a professional picture in your profile. It helps people remember you. Do not use wedding pictures, scenes at the beach, your pets or even family pictures. LinkedIn is a professional networking site and it is all about you. There are many people that will not accept a LinkedIn request if there is no image. I use the LinkedIn pictures for my Outlook address book

2. Edit the standard LinkedIn message. Nothing says more "I do not care much" than knowing that you are trying to connect to me and did not take the time to tell me who you are, when we met, and what do you want

3. If you send a LinkedIn request, make sure you visit your message center regularly. Many times I receive a request, ask a question in return (prior to accepting the request), and never receive an answer!. My personal policy is to review my networking messages every day.

Efrain A. Miranda, Ph.D.

4. Add some personal information to your profile, maybe your birthday, day and month only if you want (I will send you an electronic birthday card), or a business phone number. Remember that many use your information to update their address book (I do). A bit of personal information makes you look more approachable and less business-only.

5. Follow up immediately. A short, personal e-mail (not a LinkedIn message) thanking for the connection tells your contacts that it is all about establishing a professional network and not just adding another connection to your network to "mine" their contacts. It is not good if I accept a connection and never, ever hear from that person again.

6. MOST IMPORTANT: The time to create and maintain your network is now, when you have a job and when you can spare some time to work on it. Make it a point to work with your network at least once a week, or as in my case, daily. Too many times I have seen my contacts reach out only when they need something.

7. Have a professional, personal e-mail in your listing. You do not want to receive an e-mail at your business place offering you a job opportunity! 

8. Having a personal e-mail also allows people to contact you even when you lose your job - people usually forget or avoid updating their LinkedIn profile after losing a job. 

9 Since we are in the e-mail topic, avoid having a .edu e-mail. There are free accounts at YahooGmailOutlook, and others. A college or university e-mail could imply that you are "fresh out of college", and probably do not have enough experience.

10. WARNING!: If you receive "LinkedIn Reminder" messages. Do not open them, as some of them are not only Spam, but they could infect your computer. If you receive a "reminder", do not open the message, and just go to your LinkedIn inbox. If the reminder is genuine, it will be in your inbox, if it is not, delete the message and... you have just dodged a huge potential problem.

These are my personal opinions, if you disagree, we are entitled to disagreement! Any comments? Please post them to the  "Contact Us" page or to my e-mail. 

Dr. Miranda

View Dr. Miranda's information at LinkedIn