So it happened. Me and a bunch of incredibly awesome humans, were awarded as having ‘Power Profiles in the UK 2015‘ by LinkedIn. When they first called me up to talk to me about it I was like: hold up – is that a thing? But my friends, it appears it is. A new thing. But a thing nonetheless.
So it got me to thinking about what made me have a ‘Power Profile’ in the first place. There’s the obvious fact that I work in recruitment and that I lead hiring for Shazam. Those two very things make me someone people want to interact with all the time. But there are tons of people with jobs that are even more awesome than mine, so perhaps that in itself wasn’t enough.
Honestly, I think the thing that perhaps meant that they reached out to me rather than a bunch of other folks, could have a large amount to do with how unapologetically ‘me’ I am. I’ve written before about how much I believe it’s time for the rise of the individual, and I truly, truly believe it.
I am no different than lots of other people in terms of my work ethic and the work I do for Shazam, but I am someone who isn’t afraid to be silly, and wears her heart on her sleeve, and isn’t afraid to be honest with the world about my challenges and how I have worked to overcome them. The moment I stopped trying to be someone else and just became me, was the moment that things truly started opening up for me in my world.
So considering this point got me thinking further about who we are and how the rest of the world views us. Are we projecting the truest versions of ourselves online? And if not – how do we do so?
First and foremost, find your authentic tone of voice when writing online. This happened for me as a natural side effect of living as the truest version of myself. Once you start to do that, everything else just becomes authentic at the same time.
How do you do that? By slowly conducting a life audit and by getting rid of whatever the things are that don’t work for you and by making choices based on what makes you truly the happiest. This is another blog post in itself. I’ve written a lot about this on my blog; www.thepenfold.me. Have a dig and see what might be useful for you.
In the meantime, here are some simple points to consider when writing your LinkedIn profile:
- Your profile is 14 times more likely to be viewed if you have a picture. Does your picture really reflect you? Do you look comfortable? Do you look like you? Get someone you know really well to take a picture of you that feels appropriate; they will likely get the best results!
- Does your introduction really reflect you? Can you inject some personality into it? Can you inject some passion into it? Consider why you love doing what you do – what you love about your job – and let that enthusiasm inflect how you pitch yourself here. We don’t just want the facts; give us a flavour of who you really are.
- Give us an overview of the companies you have worked for, but avoid any real depth on your role. This isn’t your CV. If people want to find out more about you, let them ask. And they will. Trust me.
- Tell us about your interests. Tell us what makes your heart sing. Give us some idea of what you like to do when you aren’t working. Don’t be afraid to be a little silly here, if that feels authentic for you.
Be useful. Be engaged with the rest of LinkedIn. Share cool and interesting (but LinkedIn appropriate) stuff. Join groups. Get involved with discussions. Here is the video I made with LinkedIn recently to give you a few more ideas.
As with all interactions in life, we all need to make sure we are presenting the right ‘brand’ to the people we interact with and that they go away with an authentic but ideally positive view of who we are. Online is no different. I use this at a litmus test: is the ‘brand’ that I am displaying, in life and online, one that I want to be associated with? There is nothing that I share on any social platform that I wouldn’t want my boss or the members of our board to see.
When it comes to your online interactions, whether in comments or via email: would you feel comfortable if the words you used were read back out to you? Comments sections all over the Internet are rife with a very nasty kind of interaction, let’s call it ‘I’m in the safety of my own car’ syndrome. Since my video was released by LinkedIn last week, I have sadly become a victim of some less than favourable comments myself.
My general rule of thumb for communication in life is: Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary?
Kindness costs nothing. We should all shower it around us like confetti. When I walk into a coffee shop, I know that I can make someone’s morning better, just by being kind. Sincerity is also a key factor on this one though – if you are missing that part people will feel it! Let that also be the case online.
The truth has always and will always be a very important thing to me. The most important person we need to be honest with at all times is ourselves. With others, let’s check out that the truth meets the kind/necessary criteria before we unleash the facts as we see them. As long as those components are there it becomes much easier to be honest, even when it’s over something difficult.
Necessity is also a big factor. Does this person need to hear this interaction from you. Is this information you need to pass on, whatever it is. What are your motives for doing so? Are they kind and so on. You get my drift.
So take a bit of time doing a little audit of your online presence, and do an extra check that it feels like it’s a living, breathing version of you that people will get to meet before they meet you. If not – take steps to let it be so.