Protecting Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has become quite an influential means of social communication in the executive world in recent years. With this in mind I want to share my thoughts coming from an executive recruiter’s perspective that may be relevant to you when building your personal brand through LinkedIn.
Some characteristics that I find off putting include;
- Poor layout and clutter
- Spelling errors
- Overselling and appearing too eager
- Duplication of career details
- Too many career brands and endorsements
You are trying to promote a positive image of yourself and poor presentation will achieve the opposite effect. The doubts that would be created in my mind from these shortcomings would be;
- Lack of attention to detail
I put a high value on people who can deliver their message with courtesy and style but are economical with words. You want to deliver your messages but avoid giving the impression that you are trying to impress rather than letting the facts speak for themselves. For me, someone who appears more reserved but is to the point, hits the mark.
Other areas to watch for!
Adding career brands to your profile can be very effective but be careful if you have too many as this can show too much movement and a lack of staying power.
Too many endorsements and recommendations can also be counter productive as it may come across as over eager to impress.
Protecting your privacy!
Awareness of privacy issues is also important. LinkedIn now offers users a range of security settings including choosing whether or not to let people see if you are viewing their profile, as well as allowing people to see who you are connecting with. Social media travels far and wide these days. Connecting with the wrong people and failing to set your security settings properly may create unintended problems.
A good photograph and a relatively concise summary at the beginning go a long way towards giving a good first impression. With photographs, keep it simple and professional. With summaries, you need to be concise and be clear on what message you want to deliver.
In general, your LinkedIn profile is like a C.V but the difference is that it is a public document which can have a significant impact on your personal brand across a much broader readership i.e your peers, customers, suppliers, regulatory bodies, employers (current and future). Awareness of the impact on your personal brand is key to optimising your use of LinkedIn.