Home » Business » Do you look like a fool on LinkedIn? (and we don’t just mean in April)

Do you look like a fool on LinkedIn? (and we don’t just mean in April)

How many times do you see a maths problem, a family photograph, a politic entry, a meme or a quote from a famous person at a networking event, convention or conference? Not very often?

I used to think you were professional kitten

How about on LinkedIn? How many times do you read them and think oh good, wow? Not many I bet!

There has been an interesting polarisation on LinkedIn of people thinking it is a social media platform (but it’s not, read more here), and hence these sorts of posts reflect personality and life outside their professional world.

There has been an even bigger pushback against such posts because:

  • They demonstrate a lack of awareness and respect for the professionals around them on LinkedIn. Being seen to clog feeds of others seems to be a consistent comment and others asking how to stop people appearing (simple remove them – here’s how)
  • It also shows that whilst that person has personality they also have time to waste or are easily distracted in their professional life. Not the best if you want your brand on LinkedIn to appear efficient, on top of your game and attractive to clients, partners or employers is it?
  • Users are often unaware that all of their public activity on LinkedIn is visible, demonstrating to someone doing due diligence or credibility checks their level of professionalism on LinkedIn and in life

Some people would argue that these types of posts show personality and engagement, but whilst I agree to a certain extent (and indeed to be encouraged on other social platforms I am told by experts in those spaces), I believe that these types of posts do not belong on LinkedIn which is after all a business networking site, and you don’t get someone behaving like that in a business event or meeting do you?

Perhaps another New Year’s resolution (see previous one here) should be to treat LinkedIn like a room full of professional people and not share or tell the world that your kitten has a maths problem and you have time to waste?

Perhaps keep that for Facebook, Twitter or the pub …



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4 thoughts on “Do you look like a fool on LinkedIn? (and we don’t just mean in April)

  1. Neb

    Although I agree to a point, I also think that placing those posts (that are less professional) are just a small deviation from the seriousness of LinkedIn and could be taken as a breath of fresh air. On the other hand they are posted on “Share an update” and to some, those could very well be updates worth posting. That should not reflect their professionalism in any shape or form. Making such an article is to me like a little kid complaining because his game is not resolving the way he/she wanted it to be. LinkedIn is a social site that deals predominantly with professions but it is a social site. I would direct my effort on making it smooth and better functional (maybe fix an awkward messaging system) rather than worrying and being judgmental in what people find important (in any way) to post.

    1. James Potter

      Hi Neb,

      Thanks for the kind comment and sharing your views. I know what you mean about lighter posts and I can relate to it (feels the same to me on Twitter timelines) but increasingly procurement, recruiters, employers and purchasers are increasingly going beyond the profile to look at what people say, do or interact with as an indication of that person, their style and potential “fit”. Even I was quite surprised at the number of professionals from that world that we asked when researching our latest series of blogs (here http://thelinkedinman.com/7-things-you-need-to-do-now-that-drive-career-success-on-linkedin/) that referenced it. This is not a pure personal opinion piece but looking at the comments on the more inappropriate posts from general users and the audience we work with :/ I completely concur with your views on messenger though – it’s shocking in my view. Best wishes, James – The Linked In Man

  2. inbinc

    Definitely agree with these sentiments. LinkedIn is a professional platform, and I want to find stuff there that is relevant to my professional life. It’s been really noticeable lately that people have been starting to treat it like any other social media site. I don’t want to get into political arguments, religious debates, trivial quizzes or frivolous conversations on LinkedIn any more than I want to waste my work time surfing the internet. It reflects badly on those who post such stuff, because it seems like they cannot tell the difference between a work situation and a social situation.

    1. James Potter

      Thank you for the kind comment inbinc. There is one positive to take away perhaps? It makes it easy to spot the people you might want to reconsider as connections 😉 if others think the same and you are associated with them through that connection it may not reflect well on you either. Best wishes, James – The Linked In Man

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