LinkedIn is a powerful social media networking tool that helps business professionals connect, develop their talents, and seek new career opportunities. Many new users assume that creating a distinctive, professional LinkedIn profile is the sole consideration when utilizing this networking tool. However, recent events remind even the most accomplished LinkedIn users that mindfulness should rule all LinkedIn activity.
A Cleveland executive penned a scathing letter in response to a young job seeker’s request to connect. The email, which went viral, began, “We have never met. We have never worked together. . . Apparently, you have heard that I produce a Job Bank, and decided it would be stunningly helpful for your career prospects if I shared my 960+ LinkedIn connections with you – a total stranger with nothing to offer me.” The executive escalated her rejection by announcing, “Wow, I cannot wait to let every 25-year-old job seeker mine my top-tier marketing connections to help them land a job,” before snidely concluding, “I suggest you join the other Job Bank in town. Oh wait – there isn’t one.”
Though the recent college graduate did not receive the aspired networking connections, the executive must face the ramifications of online reputation mismanagement as well: her rejection went viral, and surely made its way into the hands of her 960+ business connections. Executives seeking new careers would do well to note the shortcomings of both of these professionals in managing their personal brand online.
Learning LinkedIn Etiquette
When a new professional creates a LinkedIn profile, the website encourages him or her to connect only with those he or she knows personally. However, the nature of LinkedIn—in fact, the nature of social media itself—lends itself to perceived anonymity. From behind the façade of a computer screen, many people feel disconnected from the implications of their online actions. But as proven in the example above, failing to adhere to LinkedIn etiquette drastically reduces an executive job seeker’s likelihood of successfully achieving a new career. Executive professionals should utilize social media career reputation management services to connect with existing contacts, expanding their professional network by cultivating organic connections.
The Power of Social Media in Managing Personal Brands
Social media is, above all, a reputation management tool. An expertly honed executive resume can be—and often is—undermined by mismanagement of online presence. Recruiters scour LinkedIn and Facebook for professionals who fit their unique set of criteria, and often find personal photos, disgruntled comments from former employees, or poorly executed professional profiles that quickly unravel the careful image an executive career builder has projected on paper. The executive who penned the harsh rejection email did not anticipate losing years of painstakingly culled networking connections due to arrogance. Likewise, anyone navigating the professional world would do well to remember that every action taken online—be it uploading a family photo or sending a sharply worded email—might find its way into the hands of future associates, thus destroying the credibility of a tediously prepared online reputation.
Executive Resumes Atlanta provides uniquely creative and professional personal branding services to help high-ranking executives build superior resumes and manage their LinkedIn reputations.