It’s Not Facebook. 3 Simple Tips To Increase Your LinkedIn Credibility.

2 different places with completely different rules for engagement.

2 different places with completely different rules for engagement.

I sometimes wonder if people assume that the term ‘Social Media’ means that they can lower their professional standards and take unprecedented liberties with the English language and the way they use the medium to represent themselves.

I’m no social media expert but a short stroll through the membership lists of your favourite LinkedIn groups should quickly reveal to you some incredibly common mistakes that hopefully, you’re not making yourself.

My pet hates are:

  • Profile Picture;
  • Headline role unclear;
  • Career Opportunities;

Profile Picture

I have 2 complaints about profile pictures.

Firstly, it’s not difficult to put up a simple picture of yourself. I can understand if you can’t find a picture you like but something is better than nothing. Social Media is about being social, an empty profile pic tells me you’ve got something to hide.

Even the most unflattering image tells me there’s a human on the other side of the profile. You can always get a friend to help you take some better pictures later.

Which brings me to my second complaint and the title of my post today. LinkedIn is not Facebook. It is a social media site committed to Professional networking, so be a Professional. I was horrified yesterday to see a lady who works for one of my former employers with a profile pic that heavily suggests that the only thing she is wearing is last nights mascara.

Many compliance heavy industries such as finance are struggling to come to terms with how social media works. Putting up a profile pic that suggests their well paid employee is naked does nothing to advance our cause or yours as an individual.

Headline Role Unclear

When prospective clients or employers use LinkedIn to find a professional in the segment that they have a need to fill, they’ll use the search function in the top right corner.

So if you want people to find you when they need a Financial Planner, then having that term in your headline will go a long way to helping you be found. Listing your title as Senior Consultant or Director of WhoAmI P/L might be good for the ego but makes it harder for anyone to find you unless they’re searching for you by name.

Oh, and Financial is spelled f.i.n.a.n.c.i.a.l. Mis-spelling your industry is unlikely to help your recruitment cause either.

Career Opportunities

I am regularly astounded  by the amount of people who list themselves as being contactable for Career Opportunities.

There is only one time, you should EVER include this option in your profile and that is when you’re looking for a role AND not currently employed by someone else.

Unless your employer is one of the few who actually groom their employees to be worthy of headhunting then to list yourself as looking for a new role is likely to put you in that position should your employer find your LinkedIn profile.

Not only that, but no employer worth his salt would employ a person that advertises themselves as available while in the employ of another man.

If you want to take a different look at it, we all want what we can’t have, so anyone that shows themselves as being available for career discussions is likely to command a much lower market price than someone who is unavailable. remember, scarcity adds value.

What are your pet profile peeves on LinkedIn? Please share them in the comments section.


5 thoughts on “It’s Not Facebook. 3 Simple Tips To Increase Your LinkedIn Credibility.

  1. paulineferguson

    Hmmmm. I like your ideas about professional photos. I had a thought that perhaps employers who’d like to be more social media savvy could do a quick course in it for their employees, have a social media policy (what’s acceptable, what isn’t) and perhaps have a photographer come in and do some headshots for the employees so they can use those, at least for LI? Maybe not tell their employees what they can and can’t do, but if they make it easy for people to understand and even help a bit, they’ll get (hopefully) better results.

    Most people don’t want to put down their employer or do the dirty, it’s just that they don’t think of the bigger picture.

    Which probably leads to another thing… if you’re seeking another role and have “big picture thinking” as part of your profile, and you’re doing any on Rod’s “naughty” list, maybe remove that trait. :-p


    1. rodneybukuya Post author

      Pauline, I think that one of the problems with Social Media is that the bigger employers are afraid of it while simultaneously ignorant of its threats and opportunities. net result: Shut up shop and just issue a blanket ban against people using it. A massive failure on so many levels but the picture I referred to in my post of the young lady is exactly what large employers fear.


      1. paulineferguson

        Oooooh. I can understand the reluctance of embracing it, but as with all new technologies and fields, understanding is the key to banishing fear and using it. I mean seriously, I’ve hit my hand with a hammer a few times, but I don’t stop using them because of that… 🙂


  2. Dianne Kennedy

    Hi Rodney, I concur – LinkedIn is not Facebook and shall remain so. Speaking of photos, mine will be updated shortly with a professional photo. Thank you for your candid appraisal. I hope others follow your lead. Di



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