You have a brand, whether or not you’re aware of what it is. If you are a job seeker, striving to get ahead in your career, or looking to attract customers, your brand is your most important asset. Don’t let it shape itself passively!
I am an evangelist of being intentional. Deliberate. Directed. Purposeful.
Prospective employers and customers research you online with the goal of forming an opinion about you. Becoming very intentional with your LinkedIn profile, and activity, is crucial to influencing the opinion they form. LinkedIn activity? That’s right. Your activity, not just your profile, says a ton about you.
Are you “liking” and sharing posts related to workplace drama?
You may be perceived as someone who will bring or attract workplace drama.
Are you “liking” and sharing memes that are not professional, or are ill-suited for an environment such as LinkedIn?
You may be perceived as someone who doesn’t have a sense of propriety. Someone who doesn’t know what behavior is appropriate in various situations and environments.
Sidebar: I’m speaking specifically of posts that are either in poor taste, or in no way related to the world of work, such as a picture of a cat with a caption: “Where is that damn human? My bowl is empty!”
What do your posted comments say about you?
Ideally, you want to be viewed as someone who is constructive, appropriate, positive, professional, and adding value to the network.
What does your picture convey? Does it look like a photo from an online dating site? Can people see your arms in it, posed “selfie” style?
Ask someone to take your picture, or use a camera with a timer. Don’t take your own photo belted in the front seat of your car, wearing sunglasses, or with your arms extended. It’s hard to imagine you in professional dealings when your photo is not professional.
Here are some of the positive messages you could be sending with your LinkedIn activity:
- This person appears to be interested in big ideas and casting a vision
- This person possesses technical savvy, or is a subject matter expert
- This person has a vast range of perspectives and interests
- This person is engaged with content and communities related to their profession
- This person posts thoughtful and engaging content
- This person is a kind, responsible, and mature citizen
When interacting on LinkedIn, before you “like”, post, or share, ask yourself:“Would I want this activity to be the basis of a customer or hiring manager’s opinion of me?”
All the best to you!