Risking your Online Reputation?
Are your actions on LinkedIn risking your reputation? An interesting question as millions of people connect with the website daily across the globe. I recently was retained to consult with the largest partner to AT&T in the Nation. Prior to my arrival – they were using tools such as Career Builder and Monster to seek candidates. With nearly $2500.00 invested per month on each website – the return was very weak. Less than 15 candidates would apply to jobs that paid anywhere from $60K – $100K. Why? Because most everyone in the world of job seeking and recruiting has turned to LinkedIn.
For most companies seeking employees at the entry level stage and within pay ranges of $10.00 – $12.00 an hour – using LinkedIn may not make sense as it costs $300.00+ to post an opening within the site. For those type positions – it may make sense to use sites like Career Builder, Indeed or Monster.
So now you may ask yourself what does this have to do with your reputation? Well… everything! As stated more people seek LinkedIn for job solutions than ever before. With that being said – is your profile and behavior on the site that of a professional or more so someone casually updating his or her personal Facebook?
Here is a list of common issues people do on LinkedIn that immediately result in a bad first impression:
- Your profile photo is a “selfie”. In this high-tech day and age any industry professional (that is respected) is not going to use a “selfie” as their professional image. If I am looking for a candidate and your LinkedIn photo is a selfie in your car – I am clearly not going to give you another second of my time. This showcases poor judgement, amateur style nature and disregard for detail.
- Your profile photo is a group picture, a cartoon, a photo of you wearing shades or a family photo. If you want to be taken serious – the photo should be a clear face shot of you only. All of that other stuff (even though we all love our pets and kids) is not professional and takes the focus off of you.
- You comment on profile photos with casual banter. Here are some examples taken direct from LinkedIn users: “Cute smile.” “Girl, you look great – are you free this weekend?” “That’s a cute shirt. Where did you get it? :)” This clearly tells anyone that you are the same person that will potentially get on your personal Facebook during the day at the office and/or may be an HR risk as you clearly disregard common business etiquette on LinkedIn.
- While you’re currently employed – you are following multiple companies, asking for recommendations and making other public gestures that tells your current employer you are clearly seeking a new career. Be cautious of this one as you can quickly indicate you’re on the way out. There are settings within your profile to camouflage such activity.
- You post the “LIKE THIS PHOTO” scam to attract people to your page to build your brand. Now listen – a lot of these photos used are of innocent people and showcase great causes – but often times more than not the poster is using this imagery to gain likes and expose his or her profile to the masses. Here is a great article on this whole “LIKE” scam that is plaguing both Facebook and LinkedIn. http://daylandoes.com/facebook-like-scams/
Above is an image that is commonly being used all across LinkedIn and other social media sites. This is of a courageous person that apparently has fought Cancer. It was originally posted on their personal Facebook page. Yet – the reaction by most everyone is to like the image because who couldn’t resist – right? Yet – what you will notice is that the person that posted the image is probably an “entrepreneur” or “self-employed” and merely placing this out there because each time you like it – it shows up in your network time-line. Thus more people like it and so on. So the next time you click like on something like this – make sure you know the source. Otherwise my advice would be click on the person’s profile that posted it and delete them.
There are millions of eyes on LinkedIn. Many of which may be a potential employer or someone within your company that may witness your behavior. If you have a tendency to want to rant on politics, express your personal feelings or innocently flirt with someone or comment on profile photos – my advice is to keep that on your personal Social Media.
What’s the moral of this story? Keep yourself polished on LinkedIn. Do not showcase any behavior that immediately dismisses you from opportunity. Keep yourself in a positive light as this site is used by those that can impact your life and future. Don’t lose any chance at career growth over silly mistakes that can cost your reputation.
More about the author of this article:
Dennis A. Branch specializes in startups, the building / re-building of brands and acquiring the distribution, marketing and team to create an overall game changing presence in the industry. Serving over 14+ years in various Leadership roles within the telecommunications industry – and successfully launching the first 4G Network in the United States in 2009. He helped to take a struggling startup to a half-billion dollar annual producer with the lowest operating costs in the industry.
His clients and partners include many companies – such as Best Buy, Cox, DirecTV, Dish Network, Google, Intel, Lenovo, Miss USA / Universe Pageant Franchise, QVC, Radio Shack, Time Warner, Wal-Mart, Walt Disney World Resorts and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to help secure distribution and marketing.