5 Things You Should Never Do on LinkedIn

How often do you use LinkedIn? Are you using it effectively? In a recent post, I shared a piece from Mashable that I wasAre you LinkedIn? mentioned in about tips on using the professional network effectively. While I am not an expert on every aspect of LinkedIn, there are basic rules that are constantly broken. People are not understanding how they are being perceived, and I’m here to clear up a few things. Here’s my list of 5 things you should never do on LinkedIn:

1. Don’t Self-Promote

People like to talk about themselves. A lot.

My band director in high school used to say to us, “You shouldn’t have to brag about your performance. Your performance should speak for itself.” This holds true on LinkedIn as there are some individuals who feel the need to shove their expertise down everyone’s throat in a sad attempt to get noticed.

Rule of thumb: On LinkedIn, you shouldn’t have to brag about your expertise. Your expertise should speak for itself. SHOW people on LinkedIn that you’re an expert… don’t TELL them. Bragging about yourself by posting links to your own blog or attempting to sell your product will only annoy people. Cut it out. Instead, share great content and be an active participant in groups related to your industry. If you provide thoughtful responses to discussion questions, I guarantee that you’ll win people over.

2. Don’t Ask Strangers for a Recommendation

Believe it or not, people do it. A lot. You should only ask for recommendations from individuals you’ve had a working relationship with who can comment at length about your work ethic, assets, and character. If you’re asking a complete stranger for a recommendation, you’re going to have a bad time. It communicates desperation.

3. Don’t Send a Generic Invitation to Connect

You know the drill…


I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

I’m all about meeting new people online. If we’ve never exchanged messages back and forth or we don’t have any mutual connections, then PLEASE take the extra 2 minutes to tell me a little about yourself and why you’d like to connect. Taking that extra step could mean the difference between an accepted request or a rejected one.

4. Don’t Add People to Your Distribution List Without Permission

The other day, I received a request to connect from someone. We were in some of the same groups and had commented on some of the same discussions. Since I was somewhat familiar with this person, I decided to accept the request.

Harmless, right? Wrong.

This person apparently added me to a distribution list without my permission. A solicitation was sent to a group of people and get this… EVERYONE’S NAME AND EMAIL WERE VISIBLE!

Two of my biggest pet peeves: people who overuse “reply-all” and people WHO ADD OTHERS TO A DISTRIBUTION LIST WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION.

The outcome: Connection removed. Reported for spam. Buh-bye.

5. Don’t Be a LinkedIn Ghost

I like creating new words and phrases, and this is one of them. A LinkedIn ghost is simply someone who has a completely bare profile and no profile picture. LinkedIn is a site for networking, and no one wants to network with a ghost. People want to know who you are and what you’re about. People also want to see what you look like. If you don’t have either of these elements, don’t expect to get too far with your networking efforts. It’s all about being personable.

Did I miss anything? What frustrates you when using LinkedIn? Be sure to share by leaving a comment below.



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Facebook Wants You to say ‘Thank You’ to Your Friends

Facebook Thank You

On Wednesday, Facebook launched a new way to say ‘thank you’ to a friend. ‘Say Thanks‘ pulls mutually shared moments and photos to create a short video complete with background music.

If you begin to see an influx of ‘thank you’ videos in your newsfeed, this would be why.

Make your own ‘thank you’ video by visiting facebook.com/thanks.

Introducing Say Thanks from Facebook on Vimeo.

Will you be creating a ‘thank you’ video for your friends?



Could This Be the Future of Learning How to Play Music?


LearnToPlayMusic .com’s Netflix-style on-demand content and social media platform, Apollo-M, helps musicians and music educators by giving them all the music lessons, digital tools and networking they need to achieve their music dreams.

I’m no stranger to music lessons. Practice in between music lessons is a completely different story.

Growing up, I endured two years of cello lessons and about eight years of bassoon lessons. While I’m greatly appreciative (most of the time) of the experiences I’ve had with both instruments, all of those lessons can add up pretty quickly. But what’s a budding musician to do when music lessons are inaccessible or too expensive?

Check out, Apollo-M, of course!

Apollo-M is an on-demand, subscription platform created for anyone with dreams of being a rock star, a concert pianist, or who just wants to jam and play the music they love. The innovative platform helps musicians by delivering unlimited access to a library of thousands of music lessons, videos, books and more, covering all the popular instruments, genres, styles and age-groups, and all for just $4.95 per month.


Further features in development include a social network focused on learning, making and playing music, a comprehensive suite of digital music tools, interactive gameplay learning tools, and a live teacher streaming video system, connecting students and teachers. “There really is no other app or website that will come close to matching Apollo-M’s features and value,” said Turner.

To learn more about this innovative music education tool, go here.

What’re your thoughts? Do you think it’ll catch on? Let me know by leaving a comment below.


Google for Veterans

Veterans make great Googlers, but Google knows that making the transition from the military to the corporate world isn’t always easy.

To help, they’ve created a new Veterans Careers website where service members and veterans can learn more about finding a job at Google that puts their military skills and experience to work. Check it out here.



LinkedIn Wants to Help Veterans Find Jobs. Here’s How.

LinkedIn Helps Veterans Find Work


As part of LinkedIn’s commitment to help Veterans connect with available jobs across America, LinkedIn offers U.S. service members and Veterans a free one-year Job Seeker subscription. If you are a U.S. service member or Veteran interested in this upgrade, simply complete the information found here.

This free offer is only available to US military service members and veterans.


Buzzfeed Accomplishment: Community Frontpage

I was emailed last week by Buzzfeed letting me know my post made it to the front page of the Community section! It has received over 46,000 views in just 3 days!

UPDATE: As of July 17, 2014, the post has received 79,153 views.



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Today is National Watermelon Day!

National Watermelon DayWatermelon Facts

  • Explorers once used watermelons as canteens.
  • Watermelon is 92% water!
  • By weight, watermelon is the most-consumed melon in the U.S., followed by cantaloupe and honeydew.
  • Not only does it quench your thirst, it can also assuage inflammation that contributes to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis.
  • Every part of the watermelon is edible, even the seeds and rinds.
  • In China and Japan, watermelon is a popular gift to bring a host.
  • Watermelon is an ideal health food because it doesn’t contain any fat or cholesterol, is high in fiber and vitamins A & C, and is a great source of potassium.

If you happen to know someone who has an obsession with this summertime treat, be sure to visit Edible Arrangements and order the Watermelon Kiwi Summer Bouquet. If you use promo code FREE1229, you’ll also get 12 FREE dipped strawberries!

Here’s to a great weekend eating lots of watermelon!



5 Things We Can Learn From Kids About Life

Kids rock.then_now

Have you ever volunteered or worked with kids? If not, you’re missing out because you can stand to learn a lot. If you have, then you can probably relate to this blog post. This post is dedicated to all the kids who taught me a thing or two about life.

And yes, that’s me to the right.


Agree to Disagree

Everyone wants to be right, and no one wants to be wrong. Growing up, I was taught never to discuss politics or religion, but it seems that both of these topics are nearly impossible to escape. The awesome thing about kids is that they can “debate” almost any topic and by the end, they’re hugging it out and sharing a Ring Pop. As adults, we could stand to do the same (sans sharing of Ring Pop).

Don’t Take Yourself (or life) Too Seriously

Elbert Hubbard said it best:

“Don’t take life too seriously. No one makes it out alive anyway.”

Kids laugh at pretty much everything. As adults, we should probably try laughing a bit more, but not at inappropriate times because that’s just weird. Because awkward turtle.

Get Dirty

Splash in puddles. Get grass stains on your jeans. Eat spaghetti without a fork. Make a mess. Kids love doing it, so who says adults can’t do it too? Go ahead and be a kid again. Let loose and run around with your diaper around your ankles (in the privacy of your own home, of course)!

Treat Everyone Equally

It’s pretty awesome how kids will become friends with everything. People, pets, friends of the imaginary persuasion, and all sorts of inanimate objects all get the same kind of treatment… and it’s one of respect. Wi-fi high fives to all the kids out there for not being prejudiced and accepting everyone and everything (no matter how strange) for who they are.

No high fives to the adults who teach children to be prejudiced. You suck.


Boogers. Ring Pops. A hug just because. No matter what it is, kids like to share what they have. Can you imagine a world where all the big kids shared with others? Something tells me we’d no longer have to worry about hunger and homelessness. Kids are definitely on to something. We should probably just quit our jobs and follow their lead.

If you’ve learned a lesson from a kid, feel free to share your experience by commenting below!


Copyright © 2015 Stephen Anfield All Rights Reserved.