LinkedIn Dos and Don’ts

I am reminded (almost) daily that candidates sometimes just don’t “get it” when it comes to the lack of content in candidate profiles and photos they choose to post on LinkedIn. LinkedIn, after all, is the leading worldwide business tool designed as a networking platform so you can connect with other professionals in your industry niche.

Unlike Facebook or Twitter (both excellent social media platforms), LinkedIn is designed to connect people both known and unknown based on the connections they build in their LI profiles. Last month 141 million people logged on to the LinkedIn site (many looking for top-shelf talent) – and that’s only part of the story. With 225 million users it has become the top digital repository of resumes on the planet. I think about the power of LinkedIn as a networking tool and then run across profiles that baffle me beyond words.

Here are a few tips on getting your LinkedIn photo and profile ready for primetime:

Photos

– I’ve seen photos of candidates taken on the beach in a bathing suit – never good.

– A picture of a photograph screams you don’t know anything about computers. Ouch!

– Photos taken in a bar consuming adult beverages just send the wrong message. Period.

– Colorful Avatars, while cute, have no place in a LinkedIn profile unless you are in the arts.

– Photos of you kissing your significant other are in poor taste as your profile photo. Just bad.

– I love my kids too – but a photo with your children is probably not ideal for a LinkedIn profile.

– Poorly taken photos look bad and demonstrate the wrong message. It’s easy to take a great PIC!

– No photo is actually better than any of the examples above. A photo puts a face with a name.

– Posting a photo of yourself taken 20 years ago is both disingenuous and awkward.

Content

– Join Groups that are relevant to your skills and occupation. You can join up to 50 groups on LI.

– Always join your ALUM as it’s a great way to network.

– Get recommendations from people you’ve worked with. No recommendations send the wrong message.

– Having a solid number of contacts you are connected to matters. It’s great for networking and shows you are well connected in your space.
– Having contact information visible is important if you want people to know how to reach you directly.

– Endorsements are also a great way to showcase your skills – make sure you have endorsements in multiple categories. It helps to tell your story.

– List any publications that have been published by you or articles where you were quoted.

– Understand the power of the advanced search tool to find people and companies to connect with. It’s a very powerful feature.

– If you write a BLOG make sure it’s posted on LI as it increases your brand to everyone in your network.

LinkedIn can be a wonderful way to make sure you are truly connected in your niche. On the other hand if you have little to no content, don’t use its vast array of features and elect to remove that photo taken on the beach at the beer bash – maybe not so much.

Rules of Engagement on Social Media

Originally posted on Healthcare Informatics

The personal use of social media while working for an employer has me fired up and feel like ranting a bit – so that’s the plan for this rant! OK? Thank You!

What I can’t understand about many of the Generation Y is some of their habits while working on company time. I just don’t get it – NOPE. An employer hires an employee for the sole purpose of performing a specific job based on the skills they bring to the table. Guess what? Employers are not interested in having (and paying) employees to add photos and other content to their myspace.com page during working hours. That brings no value to the employer. And I mean NONE. That also applies to updating or replying to a posting on facebook.com. No place for that in the workplace either, NONE.

I have nothing against employees using social networks on their own time and think Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are great social media platforms to stay connected with their friends, family and classmates – all good. They are great tools in business as well – and that is exciting! I use them in my search practice every day. But its business related. All updating and posting of personal social media content should be done on the employee’s own time. That’s where I draw the line. Using these social networks on the employers nickel is just plain wrong. No exceptions – sorry. Employers hire employees and the value exchange in this relationship requires the employee to perform certain job functions in exchange for receiving a specified amount of compensation for their work effort. Spending time on social networking sites to update or post, comment, upload or just “check” the account for updates are grounds for the employer to take action for the lost productivity realized by the actions of the employee. Some experts are concerned about the security risks involved when employees access some of these sites. That is clearly an issue that needs to be resolved.

Many companies have banned the use of social media to curb its use during company hours – but it’s a real challenge. I wish it was getting better – but this challenge appears to be getting worse for employers all over the world. On any given day, employers can walk by an employee’s desk and the evidence is overwhelming. In a split second (all of the sudden) they will see an employee’s computer screen change in a nanosecond. One quick mouse click (lightning fast) will minimize the window on their screen and return the user back to another screen related to their work in an effort to convince the employer that they are working (really) hard. C’mon. This is a minor form of theft. It’s just wrong. Companies need rules and guidelines on the use of social media that is not business related – and need to clearly set boundaries with their staff.

I think I have said enough here. Please know social media is HUGE (I use it every day in my business) and it clearly has a place for both personal use and business use.

It’s just the intertwining of its use in personal vs. business that I have a problem with. A real problem…