Great Resumes Fast » Networking » Top 5 Worst LinkedIn Mistakes

The talk about LinkedIn could go on and on, but every time we write an article or blog post about the topic we receive a huge response. We have heard from thousands of people about their LinkedIn experiences—good and bad. We’ve compiled a list of the most common mistakes that you—the readers—feel LinkedIn users are making. If we’ve missed something in our list, feel free to share!

1. Misrepresenting how you know someone or how you’re connected. In other words, it really bugged our readers when someone claimed that they were friends and they really weren’t.

2. Randomly requesting connections from people you don’t know or would have no mutually beneficial relationship with.

3. Contacting LinkedIn users to get something rather than to give something or offer your services/talents. LinkedIn users have had enough of receiving solicitations from people in unknown countries trying to sell them something they don’t need.

4. Using the blanket LinkedIn invitation with no personal note about why you want to connect.

5. Wanting to connect for your own personal gain instead of creating a mutually beneficial connection that could enhance the networking and professional relationships of both parties involved.

Most of our readers take networking on LinkedIn very seriously. They enjoy connecting with others and want to maintain the integrity of the site and its intent and purposes. If you’re making any of the above mentioned mistakes, take a step back and reassess how you’re using LinkedIn. You will make better and more meaningful connections if you go about them the right way. Building a network of trustworthy and fruitful connections takes time, and you can’t be in it only for “me, me, me”. You have to be willing to offer something in return.

Best wishes for a wonderful, productive, and prosperous New Year!

You can read some of our other articles on LinkedIn here:
The Best LinkedIn Invitations

A Big LinkedIn No No…

LinkedIn Invitation Etiquette

Jessica Holbrook is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter. She has written more than 100 articles that are featured on some of the best career advice Web sites today. In addition, her writing has been included in Launch pad, a career search strategy guide featuring exclusive information by the top career experts in the industry. Published quarterly, Launch pad is the respected guide used by career development centers and MBA programs throughout the country.

As CEO of Great Resumes Fast, Jessica enjoys collaborating with forward-thinking professionals and executives, identifying their personal brand and value proposition and leveraging their unique talent, passion, and vision to position them as a leader in their industry. Her passion is helping professionals and executives uncover what makes them stand out in the crowd.

For a free resume analysis, e-mail your resume to or visit our website.

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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!


  1. Twitter: Common Marketing Mistakes | Narrotin News on December 28, 2009 at 7:48 pm

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  3. tecksnippets on December 30, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Good article to read

  4. Lynette Benton on December 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Great article. We all need to be reminded, and I’m particularly eager to take a look at the “Best LinkedIn Invitations” article.


  5. J Johnson on December 31, 2009 at 2:20 am

    Thanks for the useful information. Very helpful.

  6. Salwar.Kameez on January 1, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Very Informative, I Agree.


  7. A AHMED RAIS on January 3, 2010 at 7:38 am

    This article is very helpful, and that’s true, LinkedIn is about sharing.

  8. Bryan T. on January 3, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Hi, I have been doing freelance marketing for a while and you are right on. I am new to linkedin though so I am trying to start off on a good foot. Thank you for the information.

  9. Michael A. on January 6, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Such a great article for those who don’t know how to use likedin, like me.
    Thanks to the author for bringing brightness to our brain.

  10. Julia Urwin on January 6, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    I find it curious that someone might think that a connection in LinkedIn is necessarily a friend. I use Facebook for friends and LinkedIn for professional connections – they are quite different! I know there are times when I have rushed home from a networking event (I attend many) and in my enthusiasm have connected to a number of people, perhaps without the discretion that I now employ. So if I am honest, some of my connections are close to me while others are peripheral.

  11. Anthony Ceco on January 7, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Good information for some best practices.

  12. Mudassar on January 9, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    If I want to network with people in my profession for mutual benefit, though I may not directly know them, whats wrong with it?
    I agree that linked in should not be used for event promotions or unsolicited offers

  13. Jeff Bunger on January 9, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    I have to agree with what was stated. I just joined Linkedin just a little bit ago just to open my eyes to the new way things are done. I am one of those people who hates getting spam mail, request for things not related to what I am needing, and being taken advantage of. I hope by being a new member I will not be let down! Thanks for the information you provided and please feel free to ask questions about construction related projects or repairs.

  14. uberVU - social comments on January 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by lisahutchins: RT @GreatResume: Great Resumes Fast Blog: Top 5 LinkedIn Mistakes: via @AddToAny…

  15. Daniela Gega on January 12, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I totally agree what was said.

    thank you for informing us about what’s happening

  16. Gaurav D on January 13, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    A Very nice and informative article.

    Thanx a lot.

  17. David Banig on January 14, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Good article but wanted to let others know when importing from your AOL, Outlook, Yahoo, G-mail, Hotmail accounts you may have people that you sent e-mails to for something but they do not know who you are so make sure that you filter out people who really don’t know you personally.

  18. Allen on January 17, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Finding number 5 – seeking to network for personal gain – should really be challenged. Not all initial contacts will have an immediate (or obvious) win-win. While it is regrettable that some people will abuse the right to connect or simply seek permanent one-sided benefits, I have found that the majority will ensure a possible reciprocation is open in the future. That is, by allowing me to connect today (or vice versa) the door is now open for the favor to be returned in the future. Such as by referring a potential business partner or investor to me. If there is abuse, then the individual taking offense can take steps to report and have the abuse discontinued.

    The recipient of a request to connect has a choice to ignore, accept or reject. If you think it may be a potential mutually beneficial contact, I suggest taking a moment to view his/her profile. If it is not obvious and you are still intrigued, then I further suggest you simply contact the individual to seek clarification. Otherwise, simply reject the request and move on.

  19. ionut on January 19, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Great article. Very useful.

  20. Michael Sherman on January 19, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    I have another one to add to the list. As the owner of The Executive Suite Group I am constantly getting requests for recommendations from LI members I don’t know and have never worked with. I thionk that this phenomena displays either a lack of knowledge about how to best use LI or is a blind attempt to get recommendations. Either way, I think that some of the blame rests on LI shoulders as LI doesn’t adequately and prominently explain how best to use LI.

  21. Esther on January 21, 2010 at 12:18 am

    I wholeheartedly agree with all 5 of these. 🙂 Also, sometimes one has the chance to ask “would you like to connect on LinkedIn?” in person, on the phone, through email, or whichever ahead of time before sending an LinkedIn invite. This is one more good way to not be the stranger using the blanket LinkedIn invitation. 😉

  22. Rosaria Furia on January 21, 2010 at 1:20 am

    Very useful, thank you for the article.

  23. Hillarie Goetz on January 21, 2010 at 4:44 am

    As someone who’s only recently started utilizing Linkedin (though I’ve had a profile for who knows how long) I have to say that it’s all a bit confusing and intimidating…. It’s good to find articles like these that help outline what not to do… now if only I could find one that was a little more of what TO do. I also liked Julia Urwin’s point about differentiation between friends and professional connections via different social networks.

  24. Angad on January 21, 2010 at 7:10 am

    very good and best of the dos n do nots on the linkedin

  25. Rachel Green on January 22, 2010 at 6:24 am

    I welcome people that I do not know contacting me that is what, to me, networking is all about. I went to a live Linkedin networking function this morning and met lots of people I didn’t know.

    I understand that we don’t want people just selling to us – that is why I stopped being a member of Ecademy – all I ever got was people going sell sell sell.

  26. Rajiv Parjan on January 24, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    I have been using Linked In for some time, and I think the folks running this website are doing a great job, to have a place where professionals can meet.
    But are being shortsighted in some areas, the reason why we all are here is to meet people, making new friends and business connections, and if Linked In tries to curtail folks from introducing each other on this site its being counter productive.( Even as a friend).
    You are introducing yourself as a friend, you are not sending dirty messages. A few folks have sent me messages wanting to add me and I welcome it.
    I think Linked In needs to re consider their policy and be positive in their policy making and thought process.
    Thank you,

    Rajiv Parjan

  27. Shah Karim on January 26, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    It all makes sense, but sadly many don’t follow

  28. Jason Winter on January 28, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Great article, thanks for the advise.

  29. jackwbruce on January 29, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Good thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

    One of my fears is that even when I want the relationship to be mutually beneficial, my efforts to reach out through LinkedIn may appear to be self-serving. I enjoy helping people–and helping them to connect with others–however, it takes effort to get that message across.

  30. kajori on January 31, 2010 at 4:12 am

    good article yes…but how many ppl will actually follow it?

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