I thought you were professional and then I looked at your LinkedIn profile (oh dear).
I don’t know about you, but I regularly meet someone in another way before I “meet” them on LinkedIn. Maybe I’ve had a great chat with them at an event or over a coffee or informal meeting, or maybe I’ve seen their biography, CV or profile from a website, and I’ve felt they’ve come across well.
Then I’ve gone back to the office and done my due diligence, just checking them out on LinkedIn to validate they are as professional and expert as I thought they were, but what do I see?
- They spent ages telling me how good a job they had been doing and their impact, and yet on LinkedIn they haven’t got very many recommendations or perhaps the ones they do have are from some time ago? How then do I know they do good work? Where’s the reviews and recommendations?
- If the person I met doesn’t look like the person on the profile, then the radar of suspicion is already active, let alone if they are using an unprofessional image or one of the 12 profile photographs we never want to see on LinkedIn ever again
- I check out their contact details and discover they don’t have a website listed, no phone number to see (only visibly when you are connected at level 1) or a twitter account (with a selection of ‘interesting’ tweets? Or worse still none?)
- My personal soap box moment has to be the email addresses on profiles, which you can only see when you’re connected, but they often are not as professional as you hope. Global company CEO’s using Gmail and Hotmail addresses as opposed to their own corporate email being a favourite! It’s easy to change just head here and put the work address as primary and the personal one hidden behind the scenes as secondary (you can still log on with either).
- What would you think about the person if you looked them up and discovered that a few people you knew, but didn’t value, were connected to them – less good perhaps? Your network reflects you for better or worse. Time to go through weed, feed or kill some of those connections
- How about that person with great skills? The one who’s engaging, social media savvy and communicative and yet when you look at their profile (then all activity, then posts) has had little to no posts, no expressions of opinion (thought leading or otherwise) or perhaps just recycles the company posts with no narrative, commentary or insight merely echoing what the business has said. If that is you perhaps it’s time to check out our blog about how to share an update on LinkedIn and get talking to people to drive more word of mouth for you and your business?
Now, whilst LinkedIn is not the only frame of reference for people, it is the most used professional network and easily accessible by all and quickly too.
All of these profile factors contribute to eroding the perception of the person, don’t they? And this is just a simple view.
How about if you were looking at that person to invest in them or their business? To validate their capacity to lead a growing publicly listed company in some way. To use a profile as a criteria for selection for credit, finance or risk.
This all happens every single day and often we don’t stop to think about the impact of our online persona, our online profile and how much it can impact our real life – often with our intentional control and management (or even without!).
16 October 2018