Staying Professional On LinkedIn

Sometimes I raise an eyebrow at the things I see on LinkedIn. I’m talking about grammar/formatting and Twitter.

I’m not an expert but I have very specific views on how I think the network should be used. I was one of the first few in my college class to created a LinkedIn account, so my first connections were professors and professionals. I feel like that it was a good move because I got to see how the “real grown ups” did it.

Grammar/formatting

A friend and I were chatting about social networks and I was telling her about LinkedIn (she’s not currently on it) and some of the weird things I’d seen on it.

“You may think I’m really weird,” she said to me. “But sometimes I type things up in Word before putting them online to make sure I don’t look stupid.”

She’s not weird, she’s smart. Typing things up in a word processor before posting them online gives sharing an extra step and you a chance to reread what you’ve written for spelling, grammar, content and sometimes appropriateness. I don’t use a word processor to pre-write my blogs. But I have the spell check feature on my browser turned on to decrease the errors in my work. Notice that I said decrease? If you’re a regular reader, you’ve probably noticed some errors in my posts. If you’re my husband or my mom, you’ve probably pointed them out to me. I’ll admit that on this blog, Facebook and Twitter I’m not nearly as careful about spelling and grammar the way that I am on LinkedIn.

A lot of people will just copy and paste a resume into a LinkedIn profile and then post it without even looking to see how it appears. Yikes! Formatting doesn’t always transfer, especially the fancy formatting that many of us use on a Word version of our resumes. Others will simply type in the information. That’s also sticky, especially if you do it at work.

I used to work at a car dealership and most of the specialized programs were DOS-based still and so most keyboards at the dealership were Caps Lock-on all the time. I’ve noticed a lot of LinkedIn profiles and Facebook profiles in ALL CAPS. I FELT A LITTLE YELLED AT WHEN I READ THEM! I don’t think having a profile in all caps really makes you more noticeable.

Twitter Linkage

Twitter is a lot less formal for me (and most others it seems) than LinkedIn. Anyone can follow me on it, but I tend to use it to convey thoughts, items of interest and have conversations (including participating in tweetchats). A lot of times my Twitter feed gets filled with diabetes or newlywed stuff. (At one point in time I was unfollowed by someone who felt I tweeted about wedding planning too much.)

The clients I work for and my professional network don’t really care that I’ve had a good or bad blood sugar day and they don’t really need to know what I’m up to outside of the time that I’m communicating professionally. The people on Twitter do might care. It annoys me to read tweets two times (sometimes three) on Twitter and then again on LinkedIn. And if you’re actively searching for a professional job, but frequently drunk tweeting…. you should disconnect your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

Other thoughts

I place a lot of value on highlighting my professionalism on LinkedIn because it is the home of my professional network.  I try to keep it up to date and complete. I’m rather fond of my LinkedIn, after all I was found on LinkedIn by the agency where I now work.

What are some of the LinkedIn best practices that you follow?

Related Posts:

LinkedIn recommendations v. references

I’m a case study

Analysis of my social media practices

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About Probably Rachel

PR professional and social media enthusiast, blogging about life, marriage, coffee and type 1 diabetes. You can follow me on Twitter also @ProbablyRachel

Posted on January 11, 2012, in LinkedIn, Social Media and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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