A career expert touting their skills in suggesting tips for Linked In seems to be lurking around every corner, in every Meet Up and at every social or professional networking function. It sometimes seems that Linked In sends missionaries into every venue to suggests new ways to use the wonderful features of this site. They are like social media experts who seem to multiply like rabbits. In fact, it could be the same person. Not one of them that I have met will tell you to delete your account. But I might. But then again, they call themselves experts and I don’t.
Consensus career opinion says if you don’t use Linked In then something about you simply does not work. You don’t fit and if you don’t add the latest application or whatever your resident Linked In evangelist says you may not make it in this professional world. That’s the zealous message I hear. Most of that kind of advice possesses a special place. It sounds cool. But does it matter to you in your career and for your career brand? It might. It might not.
At the risk of being ostracized or stoned within the Linked In mission field I would like to calmly suggest a counter strategy and thoughts against the evangelical wave of Linked In generalists:
1. Invent Your Own Public Relations Strategy – the truth is Linked In for many people, including and especially executives, can be a monumental waste of time. They work on biographies, make jot and tittle changes everyday and chit chat about the latest to do list for their Linked In account. But perhaps if you developed a clear, short and long-term Linked In strategy based on a smart, public relations plan you would be better off. In fact, so many executives feel the obligation to be on Linked In but it’s a haphazard waste of time for them. Get off it. Or if you are on it hire a savvy, public relations level and experienced advisor to lead you through appropriate for your career life habits. But don’t wing it unless you want another waste of time hobby. Everything you do on Linked In can be seen and if you don’t have a public relations plan behind it you risk your credibility.
2. Linked In Bad Habits – do you like to firmly place your foot in your mouth on Linked In? If you are posting inane, one sentence comments to every question asked on Linked In then I would rather you delete your account or start over. I would also like you to go away from Linked In if you think that poor English and barely understandable writing rules the day. But if you want to indicate your sloppy writing and careless errors then stay the course. Your digital footprint precedes you. Recruiters, peers and those you want to impress notice you. The kind of habits some people have on Facebook carry over onto Linked In. So your cheesy Facebook level photo might work but, really, it doesn’t cut it. Have you noticed that Linked In seems to copy or mimic Facebook? Do you see the Like and Unlike buttons? Do you see how the postings feature your picture in Groups? Follow Facebook and you have the book on Linked In. But don’t waste my time with your bad etiquette and habits.
Just because I have a lot of recommendations, post a good many questions and seem like an all-in Linked In person I am not. It’s not for everyone. It’s not a place to play the fool if you are serious about your career brand. It’s not where you need to be if you want to be unproductive, sloppy, and careless. You waste my time and yours. So get going.