Use of “Professional” Social Media

9 Jan

I’m a big user of LinkedIn; I even pay for an upgraded account.  I have found hundreds of great professional connections, use many relevant technical groups and have shared and received a lot of great technical information over the years using LinkedIn.  Many of you, I’m sure, use social media, including LinkedIn.  In fact, I suspect that most of you reading this post found it through LinkedIn, rather than on the site on which it was originally posted.  All of that is OK and this is not an ad for LinkedIn.  However, as such a big user of business-related social media, and as a business owner with hiring responsibilities (I just wish there was MORE hiring happening in our case!), I’d really like to get a couple of things off my chest.  If you’ll indulge me for a moment to detail some of my pet peeves….

  • Please put something specific in your title.  After all, what is a “consultant,” “owner” or “CEO” of XYZ enterprises?  Just like on resumes, nobody is going to sift through and read the details; you need a succinct summary right at the top.  In the case of professional social media, you better have some key words (like EMI or RF engineering) right in the title block.
  • Similar to a resume, people reading your profile want to know what you can do, not what your title is or some nebulous (albeit good) characteristics like “I’m a great team-builder.”  Very few people are hiring good team-builders, but they’d like an experienced EMC engineer with that trait.  I just did a quick search on LinkedIn for “interference”; here are a few of the items on the first page of hits:
    • Cofounder, President of ___ (something about the specialty of the company would help)
    • Creative and open-minded engineering professional (in what area(s)?)
    • Engineer (enough said!)
    • In that same search, still on the first page, here are a few that are much better:
      • Sr. Technical Lead Scientist/Program Manager – Electronic Warfare and Counter Directed Energy Weapons (beautiful!)
      • Firmware Engineer at Intel Corporation (minimal, but says enough)
      • Spectrum Management Expert. at ARABSAT (perfection in five words!)
      • Putting too much information, like multiple paragraphs on every single project you’ve ever worked on, is also a bit much.  Two printed pages (and however that translates to the online social media page) is really more than enough.  Nobody’s ever going to read it all!  If you really want to enlighten the world on all the great things you’ve done (and I’m being serious here), use hyperlinks and drive readers to your web page.
      • Build a decent profile of your experience, particularly if you intend on actually using the social media site for business purposes.  An empty profile with just a title always strikes me as a bit odd….why did you bother in the first place?

Just my two cents…guess we’ll see if anyone wants to pick apart my LinkedIn page.  Now get out there and update those profiles!

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One Response to “Use of “Professional” Social Media”

  1. Dan Wolkenstein January 17, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Great advice. Definitely going to take this to my team.

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