LinkedIn isn’t just about building your network; it’s also a place for your personal brand. Putting the focus on your brand is important to any professional, even if you aren’t a job seeker. First, you’ll need to know what your brand stands for. You can catch up on personal branding basics with this post, Personal Branding Identity Crisis?.
Disclaimer: LinkedIn and Personal Branding are not only important to job seekers, they’re still must-haves for those of who love our employers. Keeping a polished, professional presence on LinkedIn shows your employer that you’re serious about your career and you’re passionate about what you do. Displaying your skills is a great way to keep you top-of-mind for higher level positions/promotions that your company may be looking to fill in the future. So never stop networking, even once you’ve landed your dream job.
Ready to take your personal brand to your LinkedIn network? In Dharmesh Shah’s post, The One Word that Can Catapult Your Career he talks about thinking of what word(s) you want associated with your brand. To start, he suggests asking your colleagues and manager what word best describes you and then decide which adjective you want to represent your brand. Find that word and keep it in mind when you’re posting on LinkedIn or anywhere publicly.
Do Comment on LinkedIn ‘Influencer’ Posts:
Commenting on LinkedIn Influencer posts gives you greater exposure to professionals around the globe while reminding your own colleagues what matters to you. When you read an article that’s relevant to your profession, thank the author for sharing and highlight the points that resonate most with your own industry experience. Or open a dialogue by mentioning some additional concepts/ideas that others in your field may find useful.
Don’t Be A Cyber Bully:
Shockingly, even some CEOs leave less-than-professional comments on influencer posts on LinkedIn. I saw one of these toxic responses the week DOMA was struck down and a thought leader shared his thoughts about the marriage rights movement. This specific CEO went on a two paragraph tirade starting with “I suppose we should be able to marry donkeys and livestock now too”.
Posting abrasive replies on LinkedIn or anywhere will damage your personal brand and your company’s. Stay out of politics when you can, but when it’s unavoidable at least keep it professional. Don’t forget your customers/colleagues/managers etc. are not you and you’ll always find someone who supports your career or business on the other side of an issue.
Do Share Relevant Postings:
Have a blog? If the posts are related to your industry expertise and work friendly then why not share them with your network? As long as you aren’t using working hours to plug out blog posts, there’s no reason your manager (or manager’s manager) should be offended, right? Sharing your know-how is a great way to let potential and current employers know that you’re passionate about what you do. Greatness always begins with passion.
Don’t Be an Oversharer:
Your personal brand doesn’t have to be all about what you do during office hours, but be sure that any postings are work appropriate. Your blog post on Facebook or pins of new bathing suits and summer dresses you want to buy concern exactly no one in your professional network. Also, never complain about your colleagues or customers online. People frequently forget that their Twitter feed is tied to their LinkedIn accounts or who they are connected to and complaints about your client’s late night requests or high maintenance behavior can end up popping up on their very own monitors/iPhones. (Really, I’ve seen this happen before!)
Do Put Time into Recommendations
The recommendations you give to your colleagues don’t just represent them, they speak volumes about what you value in your colleagues and how well you can communicate or acknowledge the accomplishments of others. Everyone loves a team player, so make sure your recommendations are meaningful and detailed; don’t send anything under three sentences.
What do you think? How are you using LinkedIn to build your personal brand? Let’s be friends; comment, question and tell all below!