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The 6 Kinds Of LinkedIn Users We Can All Do Without

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In the wake of the recent $26.2 billion acquisition by Microsoft, there is a lot of discussion happening about the future of LinkedIn. It's risky. It's sexy. It's huge news.

Log in to LinkedIn, and you'll find a lot of opinion pieces about how they have changed through the years, and not everyone is happy about it. Not everyone wants to see posts about puppies on LinkedIn. Not everyone wants a salesperson pitching them through InMail. Not everyone wants to spend their time fighting off recruiters, while others want recruiters to find them faster.

For the most part, I assert that the majority of LinkedIn users are there with positive intent. You may be peeking at job opportunity and want to look up the executive team. You may want to pitch something to a CMO at a small startup and use LinkedIn to find the contact name. You may see your ex-boyfriend changed jobs and decide to peek at their profile. It's a slippery slope.

Before you know it, you can slip into bad habits. Below are 6 kinds of LinkedIn users we can all do without. I'm fairly certain that most offenders have no clue the mistakes they're making, so I'm here to help enlighten you. I've been guilty of a few of these myself, so let's all take a moment to grow together, and make the most of the business social network that's clearly here to stay.

The Braggadocio (otherwise known as The Look at Me) -- This LinkedIn user enjoys the availability of a large audience to advertise their greatness and status in the business community. They are easy to spot because they post frequently, and their posts are sometimes thinly veiled attempts at humility. If they disappear from LinkedIn for a while, don't worry, they're bragging about themselves on Facebook or Instagram.

Examples of Braggadocio posts:

  • Had to wake up at 4am for a client meeting in NYC. American upgraded me to first class!
  • I was scrolling through a list of top entrepreneurs and couldn't believe I made the list again! (Posts list.)
  • Photo of feet on beach with any hashtag related to President's Club.

The Creeper - I'm probably doing us all a disservice by even mentioning this one, but seriously people, do yourself a favor and learn how to view someone's profile in private mode! I have about three random men with whom I've worked in the past who look at my LinkedIn profile at least once a quarter. Hello! What do you need? Are you just curious about my current role? God forbid, do you want me to hire you? Or do you have plans to stalk and murder me, because it really feels that way. This LinkedIn user is one of the absolute worst kinds, and in almost every case (not just mine), the people creeping on our profile are people with whom we never want to see again.

The Politico - I get super political on Facebook, but for me, that's an appropriate venue for it (it's not for everyone). However, I keep a pretty tight ship when it comes to discussing politics in the workplace. It's not for me. I believe in the separation of church and state and office buildings. Consider who you might be offending if you're posting how much you hate Hillary or Trump or both of them, because popping off like that on LinkedIn could very will upset your business relationships.

The Look Out, I'm About to Jump Ship: If you're responsible for leading people, you can learn a lot about their job satisfaction status by seeing what they're posting on LinkedIn. If they have a boatload of new recommendations, chances are, they're looking for a job. This is a great time to have a one-on-one and discuss things. It may be a blessing in disguise, but if you don't want to lose an employee that you value, seeing an uptick in LinkedIn recs is a good reason to connect and find out the dealio.

The Scratch My Back: We all know this user. They will ask for a LinkedIn recommendation and never return the favor. I am a firm believer that the best gift you can give a person who was recently let go is a thoughtful LinkedIn recommendation. I also think it's a best practice to write it within a week of the request, though that's not always possible. Changing your status from a Scratch My Back to a good steward of LinkedIn is easy. Catch up on the recommendations you need to give back. It's good karma!

The Parent - You're retired, but somehow you have a LinkedIn profile. Your picture is the tell-tale icon of a faceless shadow. You have no clue what LinkedIn is about, but you have a profile there none the less. I am fairly sure my retired father has been on LinkedIn for over five years now, but I lack the patience to sit down with him and delete his profile, so he's here for the long haul. Do yourself a favor and don't send him an inmail selling him software. He will never, ever, buy anything.

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