We get to grips with the ‘professional’ social network
A few weeks ago a report emerged showing women were the more active of the sexes across the majority of social media. Go team. However we significantly lacked those trigger thumbs on LinkedIn. Today we’re getting to grips with the ‘professional’ social network for those of you who would rather be tweeting your indignation at the latest thing John Waters said or instagramming that cappuccino that makes your morning bearable.
No Irony Allowed
While the rest of the internet revels in irony, LinkedIn is not the forum to showcase how you fail at taking anything seriously. Even if your first ‘serious’ job solely involved directing tourists to Bewley’s for a fry up because you weren’t bothered checking them into their rooms early, don’t swat away your sophomore experience in a deprecating one-liner or throwaway descriptor like ‘Chief Sandwich Suggestion Person’. Checklist all those responsibilities and use your adult brain to edit out the ones that shouldn’t be stated. Siblings with slagging skills make great bullshit detectors for those of you with elephant-hide skin, so send your cranky sister the url and wait for the, hopefully constructive, criticism.
These are superficial times, so slaving over profile photo choices is not a silly pursuit. First impressions no longer occur over firm handshakes but are formed by What Google Says, and the one thing you have control over is your profile.When it comes to posting that perfect personal representation we’re saying a definite no-no to anything taken in a Madrid nightclub smoking area two years ago. Even if you do look amazing and drenched in Vitamin D, the bandage dress does not say ‘hire me’. Or at least it doesn’t say ‘hire me for a job with a taxable salary.’
Sepia filters are tricky. While we love the way Instagram can make us look like a character in the summer-dating-montage scenes in The Notebook, there is a danger of twee overload. A recruiter should not think ‘hot chocolate cradling pushover’ on seeing your profile. A photo from your graduation makes parents gleam with pride, but this public affirmation of youthfulness might mean you’re considered only for the internship intake. One from that stint of middle class volunteering where you’re clutching a native means you’re giving off signals of smug. Also you’re probably going to be the colleague sending out mass office mails directing us to donate to your MyCharity.ie page. *Delete*
If you can get your photo taken by a photographer most problems are solved. While we’re not advocating everyone to book a session at a studio, having a professional jpeg to hand can alleviate you of a lot of stress. One amateur photographer friend of ours has done a few informal gigs for people looking for cheap headshots with a cool edge. Also our Image Networking Breakfasts are a great opportunity to get your money’s worth out of that blow-dry. Next month sees us hosting Jo Malone if you’re interested! For tickets go here.
However, if you want to go for something natural then arrange a weekend excursion with a snap happy pal in the coming weekends. Nothing too ravey- think the Iveagh Gardens during an easy going concert, Birdy in July will be prime bateau top territory – or maybe pop along to the Taste or Bloom festival. A genuine smile and a summery blue shirt will see you looking yourself.
Make Like Tripadvisor
While flirting with visiting tradesmen is an underrated and necessary skill in every workplace, you should probably populate your profile with some kind words from that former manager you clicked with as opposed to enthusiasm about your tea-making and small talk skills. You want something honest and representative of who you actually are, rather than an effusive monologue on how you reinvented the internet before noon and increased sales despite being in a non-sales role. Don’t ask the first ex-co-worker who shows up in your feed, look for that genuine connection.
Last summer, we were introduced to someone’s brief significant other before we went barbequing. While she was getting ready we had to engage in small talk with the fling and decided to broach books, considering the only complimentary fact known of him was he liked to read. It was when he offhandedly mentioned rereading Plato during June that we stopped trying to be polite. Your LinkedIn Summary is meant to project your career goals in a sentence or paragraph. Make it short, simple and avoid a Goodreads Quote of the Day prefacing your claim to be a digital strategist extraordinaire. Otherwise you will be screengrabbed and scoffed at.
Jeanne Sutton @jeannedesutun