A couple of weeks ago, I happened across an interesting Forbes article that referenced LinkedIn. I happen to be a LinkedIn power user, so I thought I’d add my personal thoughts.
The article read, in part:
Very few people will ever see your resume, but millions of people can see your LinkedIn profile right now! It is your professional billboard. When you create your LinkedIn profile, you tell the world what you want the world to know about you.
Your LinkedIn profile not only showcases your experience, your education and your skills. It conveys a lot more information than that! Your LinkedIn profile also communicates your personality, your thoughts about your profession and your career, and your creativity.
That’s why you don’t want your LinkedIn profile to diminish your professional flame by sending the message that you are less capable or less professional than you are!
Reading through this article brought to mind the fact that in the last year I’ve noticed a trend on LinkedIn, through which the great value of this business tool is reduced
Temper Your Politics
Today it is becoming increasingly common for people to voice their political opinions, in very harsh ways. While the political landscape today is quite volatile, LinkedIn isn’t the platform for the airing of your views. It’s definitely important to highlight your personality and create a profile reflecting your unique persona—but there are professional ways to do so. In the “Additional Info” section, list your hobbies. Have people endorse you. These types of actions will bring a unique view of who you are.
The key word here is engagement—don’t use LinkedIn as your personal soapbox. LinkedIn’s power stems from the fact that it is a solely professional platform for the interaction of business people. When I, as a business person, approach another business person, it’s fair game. Both of us chose to be on a professional platform so that we could interact.
It’s important to adhere to a business protocol where business people act like business people and don’t transfer their personal beliefs on to LinkedIn. While I’m really happy when somebody gets married, LinkedIn is not the place to showcase your wedding photo on your profile. I also don’t care to see any other personal photos, unless they are business related. It diminishes the value of the platform. There is only so much time in a day, especially in sales so spending time on LinkedIn should be meaningful time to do research, find new prospects and monitor trends.
When my newsfeed gets flooded with irrelevant posts, at some point I need to take action and delink you.
LinkedIn Is a Professional Network
Facebook, on the other hand is the place to share personal beliefs although in general I would recommend avoiding certain posts or photos, SnapChat can help you out there.
It’s really all about expectations. When people sign-up for Match.com, they are free to approach other people for a date. I expect people to post photos of their vacation on Facebook, but I also anticipate business people to observe business etiquette on LinkedIn.
Be Mindful of How You’re Viewed
Perception is reality. When you are an attractive woman in business and you post a photo of yourself that looks like a glamor shot with the lens focusing in on your low-cut shirt with your cleavage showing, don’t be surprised when people reach out to you for other reasons, than trying to book a business meeting AND please don’t complain about it on LinkedIn (which is exactly what happened the other week). When you don’t adhere to the rules, don’t expect other people to do so.
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