In an age of remote career opportunities, flexible work hours, casual dress and employee benefits centered around work-life balance, professionalism is still a required virtue. Professionalism transcends virtually and competent professionals must acknowledge the purpose and practice for each social media channel. At Kicks Digital Marketing, we cringe when we see social media users misusing social platforms. Make no mistake, if you’re using LinkedIn with any sort of personal inflection: you’ve already messed up. As an individual, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are for personal use, LinkedIn is the platform that should epitomize professionalism.
LinkedIn is not for mixed use. LinkedIn has a singular purpose: to showcase, elevate and share your professional experience and network. With that mission in mind, if you’re snapping selfies before stepping in a meeting and posting #saleslife #worklife you have effectively denounced your credibility in one fell swoop. Congrats! You work hard everyday only to sabotage your reputation because of your online addiction to gain followers, comments and likes. Was it worth it? We can’t imagine that it was. While you might be secure in your current position, chances are you’ll want or be required to change at some point in the future.
CNN Money published that the average millennial will change positions 4 times before they are 32. It’s a new trend called, “job hopping.” We can tell you this, if you’re planning to make a hop or a leap, you’ll more marketable if you can demonstrate social awareness both intrapersonally and on the interwebs. Save the selfies for Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Only make posts or share articles that contribute to your professional bottom line. If the post or picture you’re contemplating posting doesn’t immediately scream, “HIRE ME!” shut it down. Your temporary amusement or vain personal payoff in the short term isn’t worth the long term punishment.
Since common sense isn’t so common, here are some things you shouldn’t be doing on LinkedIn:
- Don’t abuse it with personal use: Save the selfies, political rants and sarcastic commentary for your actual friends and family.
- Don’t make a bad first impression: Make sure that you choose a profile image that demonstrates you in your best professional light. You can be creative without looking like a fool.
- Don’t post without checking for grammar and spelling errors.
- Don’t spam people: Only reach out for connections with the people you’ve actually engaged with in a professional setting.
- Don’t prematurely ask for endorsements or recommendations: If you’ve just engaged with a new client, don’t ask them to speak on your behalf right away. Earn the right to make the ask.
- Don’t be stingy: If others are taking the time to endorse and support you, make sure that you reciprocate.
- Don’t be afraid to purge connections or inquire about the origin of a connection if you receive a request that doesn’t seem to ring a bell: Make sure that your network is a reflection
of the company that you keep. While quantity is great, quality cannot be underestimated.
Since we want to see you winning, here are some quick tips to LinkedIn success:
- Choose a profile picture that is high quality and makes a solid first impression.
- Write with a goal in mind.
- Watch your tone.
- Keep your experience relevant and up to date.
- Include important links.
- Complete as much of your profile as possible.
- Seek out recommendations and reviews.
Keep polishing yourself professionally and make sure that your LinkedIn imprint reinforces your selling points and only reflects facts and assets that support your career ambitions. Meanwhile, we’ll keep fighting to help our Kicks Digital Marketing clients look as good as possible in our digital world. Let us know if you have questions!