There’s no denying it: standing out on LinkedIn is becoming increasingly difficult. With over 500 million users from more than 200 countries and two new members being added every second to the network, simply creating your profile, connecting with prospects, and sharing a few updates isn’t enough anymore. You need to make yourself likable, relatable, and memorable if you want to grab the attention of potential employers.
But, how can you do that on a network that is perceived as buttoned-down?
The Big Secret to Enhancing Your Reputation on LinkedIn
One of the things that make LinkedIn such an interesting network is that the very fact that differentiates it from other social platforms is the key to building a powerful brand and advancing your career.
Here’s the thing: although it was created as a network that facilitates professional interactions, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all communication on LinkedIn should be stiff. Social media isn’t only about sharing news within your industry; it’s also about engaging with your audience and starting meaningful conversations. The same rules apply to LinkedIn as well.
Instead of focusing only on building your portfolio, presenting your professional story and showcasing your skills, don’t be afraid to inject some personality. Be sure, however, that the information contributes to how people perceive you.
What Type of Personal Interactions Should You Share
Don’t get the wrong idea: we’re not saying that you should start flooding your LinkedIn profile with cute cat photos, motivational quotes, and personal opinions on sensitive topics. Instead, we’re talking about sharing something personal, but that could still add value to your network.
Don’t talk about what you did on vacation, but about the benefits of taking a break on productivity and creativity. Or, if you’ve attended a corporate event, don’t share your impressions about what people wore and how good the food was. Instead, present your perspective on the topics discussed during the event.
Know When to Get Personal
If most of your social media profiles are private and you know you can share almost anything without jeopardizing your professional life, things are a bit different on LinkedIn. Potential employers are going to analyze your profile, and anything out of the ordinary or questionable is going to make them think twice before contacting you.
While I encourage you to share and engage in personal interactions, make sure that the content adds value and reveals your system of belief or a dimension of your life. If you work in an advertising agency, talk about the importance company culture plays in fostering a creative exchange of ideas. If you love competing in marathons, talk about how this passion impacts your professional life and motivates you to challenge yourself every day.
Why Personal Interactions Matter on LinkedIn
According to career consultant and speaker, Ian Christie, the activity on LinkedIn that gets the most results is more social and personal and less stiff and conventional. And, it makes sense.
People don’t want theory or information they could find in any book. They want to find out about their networks’ personal experiences and learn from them. They want to know what worked, what went wrong and how they can apply that information to their career path.
Click here to read the comments and answers to his question: HOW ARE YOU LOOSENING-UP ON LINKEDIN?
Getting personal is paramount if you want to engage with your network. That said, don’t treat every interaction as an opportunity to share a personal anecdote. Pay attention to the tone of the discussion, and respond appropriately.