Your brand is represented by you — whether it’s your beliefs or interests, you are being pre-judged by what people can find on you before they meet you. My previous boss vetted me out on social media and figured that I was the right person for the job from a simple saying. So let’s chat about LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the numero uno spot I go to when I want to check out someone new or hear about a new person. I won’t lie about it and try to dodge the fact that I would be a good person to be in the FBI. Maybe I’m just a little nosey, who really knows?
Let’s chat about LinkedIn and what you shouldn’t do. LinkedIn is not Facebook or Twitter, you can’t just spew all your thoughts out there and I witness it all the time. I want people to remember this is a professional and public networking website. This is where the first impression of your character can be made. People forget that their career and who they associate in the professional world are connected to them on this site at times. People talk politics or throw shade at an organization, this is not the website for that. You don’t want to be that person that people write off because you liked or reposted something offensive. Don’t give them a reason to judge the book on the outside and not want to read the pages.
Time to get to it. Time to really talk about what you should and shouldn’t do. LinkedIn is your professional impression and more than likely, it’s your first impression. Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t do. There are many things that you shouldn’t do but these are the three things I always see people do — handle your LinkedIn at your own risk, just avoid certain things.
I touched on this in the beginning of this post but you really do not want to be negative or send out spam. The amount of spam that I’ve received blows my mind because I’m not afraid to remove a contact. Do not use this site for spreading ‘make more money doing this’ advertisements that don’t work for everyone. Don’t spread your hate. Politics are a big thing that brought out the worst in people. This past election season really brought out a lot of negativity and people bashing others for their beliefs on a professional networking site. May I remind you and them that what you say can come back and haunt you. You can and will be reported by someone who will reach out to your job. You will have what you say on this professional networking site reach your higher ups. Be smart, the internet can and will destroy you if you give it the opportunity. Trust me, people don’t like seeing negativity and spam — positive things lighten moods, remember that.
Recommendations from Strangers
I don’t know if you’ve seen this but I have seen or heard people talking about giving recommendations just to get one back and while that’s cool if you discuss it with a former co-worker or present co-worker, it’s not cool to do with strangers and people you barely know. Recommendations are great to have and show that the people that you’ve worked with appreciate you and are willing to talk about you. Those recommendations can only go so far, though — when the job you are pursuing contacts your references, they have specific questions to ask and they don’t really dig deep for that recommendation that highlights your character. Don’t ask people you barely know to do this and then when it comes down to the phone call, they don’t have anything to say or elaborate on. Bad look, terrible look.
LinkedIn is not Facebook or Twitter
Important, you must remember this. LinkedIn is not Facebook or Twitter. Celebrate the high of a new career path or opportunity on LinkedIn but don’t celebrate things that won’t correlate with the network. Utilize Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for things that you would share with family and friends — you may consider some co-workers friends, add them on those social platforms instead of flooding LinkedIn with celebratory news or an engagement announcement. Yes, that’s exciting but that doesn’t really have anything to do with your career. LinkedIn is the place to focus on your career and spew your career knowledge.
LinkedIn is a great asset especially for a professional — your resume is basically out there for everyone to see and it garners attention from those that want you on their team. Don’t sabotage yourself with the little things. Facebook is perfect for the engagement and personal updates, Twitter is a great place for a rant and you can overdose on Instagram with an aesthetic of pictures. Utilize your other platforms so that you aren’t oversaturated your professional look. That is why social media is so great — there are multiple platforms for different uses and you have ample opportunities to showcase yourself.
Remember this is an impression for employers. Make it your own but don’t divulge personal tidbits.
What is one thing you notice on LinkedIn that shouldn’t be done?