Social media the “in” thing right now, and I don’t think it’s going anywhere for a long time. We are naturally social creatures. We like interacting with each other, sharing opinions, debating with each other, and basically showing off our lives. Why do you think Facebook is so popular? We like sharing our photos and updating people about US, becaue we are naturally selfish. Not to mention it’s fun to keep in touch with old friends without needing to put any effort into it. LinkedIn is a different beast than Twitter and Facebook. Twitter and Facebook are all about being personal, but LinkedIn is more like an interactive resume. You can build an online resume all while connecting with professional contacts. LinkedIn is different, therefore, it should be treated differently.
Don’t Be Too Personal on LinkedIn
Stay within the parameters of LinkedIn. If you don’t want recruiters, bosses, or co-workers finding your personal blog easily, then don’t sync the feed to your LinkedIn profile. There is definitely a balance you must master, because you also don’t want your LinkedIn profile to be very stale and mundane. It’s important to interject just enough of your personality into it without coming across as a goofball.
Social media is driven by participation and contribution. If you are not participating in conversations and sharing with others, there is no point in having a LinkedIn account or any other social media account. The best thing you can do for yourself on LinkedIn is write reviews for other contacts. Usually, they will reciprocate with a review about your past or present work. Join LinkedIn groups as well. They are a good source for information your industry and possibly network with other professionals in your area or profession.
You may be able to get away with a white lie here or there on your paper resume, because only a handful of people ever see it. But, your LinkedIn resume is available to everyone in the world. Don’t run the risk of being called out on the internet!
Create A LinkedIn Vanity URL
Your profile is more likely to show up in search engines and searches for your name if you have a vanity url. Mine reads http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikfolgate which is much cleaner than the default url. Just log into your account, go to “Account and Settings”, then “Public Profile”, and you will see an “Edit” button that allows you to edit your public profile url.
If you aren’t on LinkedIn yet, I suggest that you start an account today. It’s the easiest way to be head-hunted and meet other professionals in your industry. Just recently, I received an email from a recruiter telling me about a very relevant position that was located in my area. Recruiters and HR professionals are taking LinkedIn seriously and so should you.