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CAREER / 14 December 2016
Online Networking Etiquette: The Do's and Don'ts
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Chi Chung
Branding Intern
Davis

In today’s world, our increasing dependence and love for social media has ultimately changed the way we live. Us millennials were able to experience first-hand the growth of social media, from MySpace, to Facebook, to Instagram, and everything in between. Each platform has found a different way to appeal to us. In a research recently conducted by Statista, 78% of Americans now have a form of social media. In 2008, that number was only at 24%. With the use of social media growing at such a rapid pace, here are couple Do’s and Dont’s when it comes to online networking etiquette:


Do’s:

Fill out professional networking profiles completely.

You can treat your online profile like a well oiled machine. You are going to get out what you put in. Professional networking companies such as LinkedIn and ProSky connect people with potential employers. The first impression that these potential employers will have will be based on how well these people fill out their profiles. Honestly, it only takes about 20-30 minutes of quality time to have a complete profile and that can be the difference between getting the job or not. 


Be YOU.

I know this sounds pretty simple, but people get caught up in trying to be the best candidate possible rather than just being themselves. Let me explain what I mean when I say that. Many times, potential candidates try so hard to make themselves seem like a lock and key fit for a certain position, but in reality, in the workforce, there is no such thing. Some people are more suited for certain positions compared to others, but there is always a learning curve. For that reason, it is better for the company to truly get to know who you really are.


Spell Check.

Not much of an explanation needed for this. Authors would not publish a book filled with spelling errors. There should be no reason your online profile should contain any either. A couple helpful websites I like to use are Grammarly and JSpell.



Dont’s:

Don’t mix business with pleasure.

Always keep personal social media accounts separate from business ones. You would not want your parents to see what you do on a Friday night, let alone your next potential employer. The images that you portray of yourself on social media might not be indicative of who you actually are. Mix business with business and pleasure with pleasure. Simple as that. 


Don’t connect with just anyone. 

Isn’t the whole point of online networking to connect with as many people as possible? Yes, but in variation. Just because a CEO of a company is your brother’s friends second cousin doesn’t mean you should connect with them. Put yourself in that CEO’s shoes, and imagine your second cousin’s friend's brother is trying to connect with you. In the CEO’s eyes, it looks like a desperate move, and makes a bad first impression, possibly hindering the chances of getting potentially hired in the future. Meet your connections first before actually connecting with them. 


Don’t pester connections.

If someone denies your friend request or your request to connect, don’t continue to add them over and over again. Once, maybe even twice might be acceptable, but if they haven’t accepted your request after two times, it is time to move on. They might have potentially missed out on the perfect connection, but constantly requesting will make you look like a pest. Even after connecting or friending someone, if they do not respond to your messages the first or second time, continuing to ask will only show desperation. 



The way to connect and interact with people have drastically changed. Nowadays, anything that is posted on the Internet can never be entirely deleted. In this day in age where social media rules our lives, be careful what you post. In a professional setting, portray yourself based on how you want potential employers to view you. At the end of the day, potential employers want to get to know the type of person they are hiring, so just be yourself.  


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