Being personal while being professional

A colleague and I were recently discussing some interesting LinkedIn profiles that we’ve come across in our time. I’m no stickler for having super formal profiles, in fact, I find profiles with a bit of pizazz and creativity quite refreshing. However, I would have to say that perhaps the picture of you from Spring Break doing Jello shots off the chest of the cabana boy may be better suited for Facebook or the like. I question why people don’t always have the sense to know when and how their professional and personal lives should overlap, particularly as it pertains to social media. TheLadders conducted a study and found that recruiters spend more time examining a LinkedIn user’s picture than actually reviewing the person’s qualifications. I have to wonder what the repercussions of this would be as it relates to job opportunities.

If you read any ‘dos and don’ts’ to LinkedIn, you’ll always see some basics: have a picture, let the picture be of you and not of your dog and proofread. Beyond what everyone should do, think about what you can do to set you apart from the rest, showcasing who you are as a person, without getting too personal.

Volunteer experience
Your philanthropic endeavors can show a lot about who you are, besides being charitable. Your volunteer role exhibits your creative, physical and social capabilities, not just the causes you care for. Over 40% of hiring managers say they view volunteer experience as equivalent to formal work experience, don’t shortchange yourself by neglecting to highlight this element of who you are.

A video pitch
More than 2.5 Million pieces of rich media has been added to LinkedIn. Have you considered including a video where you showcase yourself? It goes much further than the text “I am outgoing”.

Choose your groups wisely
Some may disagree with me but I think in the digital world less is more. Just as I don’t consider it wise for a marketing department to spread themselves thin across every conceivable social media platform, just so they are ‘present’ (albeit barely), I also feel the same for groups. Join groups that you can actively participate in and are of interest to you. The people you connect with via the groups will be people that share common interests, goals and are in your best interest to connect with.

LinkedIn has almost 300 million members, and it’s great to differentiate yourself from the rest, but remember, this is still a professional network. Show that you’re great, unique and the kind of person people want to connect with. Keep Tequila Tuesdays offline!

 

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