Using LinkedIn Professionally, Not Pretentiously!

LinkedIn is established to be a professional networking site, however I want to ensure that I am using it in the best possible way as it will be visible to any ‘undercover’ agent. Whether it is a potential employer, curious friend, competitive colleague, or random searcher! I already experienced the social platforms diverse reach when persons I was looking to rent a room from said that they had searched and checked my background through my LinkedIn.

stalkingonlinemain

I discovered a blog on strategies using LinkedIn, offering genius advice that I think everyone who uses the website should read.    

“I want you to show me, the reader, some consideration. Be considerate with time and I’ll reward you with mine” (Foote, A, 2013).

A LinkedIn profile should offer a brief snapshot of a person that is easy to read, in particular, the key summary.

“Your LinkedIn Summary is the most important white space on your entire LinkedIn Profile. What you choose to write here can make the difference between professional success or stagnation” (Foote, A, 2013).

But my fear was how do I write a summary of myself without sounding completely pretentious?

“You need to be your own Brand Ambassador and you need to ensure that your professional online prospectus is unique, engaging and well written. Write it in the 1st person. Writing a Summary about yourself in the 3rd person is a theatrical gimmick which never worked. It doesn’t make you more polished, it makes you seem aloof, out of touch and stuffy” (Foote, A, 2013).

Discovering a LinkedIn profile in the 3rd person writing style, I decided how pretentious it did come across to the reader, as nobody has a personal secretary following them around! Writing in 3rd person in my opinion does feel too self-important and isn’t taking command of your own narrative.

I also don’t want my LinkedIn profile to be purely focused on my work skills and experience, but outline what I have to offer in future.

“Your Summary is your chance to not only say what you’re good at, it’s also your opportunity to stand out from the crowd, to differentiate yourself, in a remarkable and memorable way” (Foote, A, 2013).

Another point I thought was useful is that a good profile should end with a call to action.

Reference

Foote, A, 2013, ‘3 Stunningly Good LinkedIn Profile Summaries’, viewed 21 July 2013, http://www.linkedinsights.com/3-stunningly-good-linkedin-profile-summaries/

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My Top Office Do’s and Don’ts

During the first five days of my placement, here are my top ‘do’s and don’ts’ for any intern or employee!
Do’s: Respect others space. At the beginning of my internship, I felt very much like an invader, despite the immediate welcome by my supervisors. I knew that the organisation has an influx of interns each year, and that this must be a distraction to permanent staff. So I wanted to ensure I respected the space of senior journalists and staff around me. As I was skipping from one desk to another daily, I ensured that I kept my space clean and tidy at the end of the day, and treated the journalist whose desk I was borrowing with respect!

Introduce without being irritating. Despite already recognizing most journalists around me, I used my discretion to introduce myself to them. If I noticed some were busy or making phone calls, I didn’t bother them.  By deciphering body language I managed to introduce myself to several journalists who were happy to assist during my internship, and formed some strong relationships.
Showing up ‘on time’ is late. As the company was a distance from my home, I ensured that I factored in travel time each morning. Training in journalism, I am very aware that it is crucial to be punctual, particularly as interviews are scheduled to a tight deadline. However in every work position I’ve held, I have always been punctual and believe this is important. My parents raised me with the saying that ‘5 minutes early is 10 minutes late’.
Dress appropriately. Not just dressing conservatively, but also correctly for the conditions. As my internship was in June during -5 degrees days, I made sure that what I was wearing was also practical. Particularly having comfortable shoes, as there was a lot of running around
Listen to advice from others.  It is okay to think that your way is the best way, but taking time to take other people’s advice on board can provide a new perspective that you wouldn’t have otherwise considered.
Don’ts:
Gossip.  This is a common human tendency but can be very destructive and harmful in a work situation.  It is better to maintain your colleagues respect and trust by avoiding any petty gossip and concentrating on work!
React negatively to criticism. I certainly do not enjoy making mistakes but if I don’t embrace them, I miss out on a valuable learning opportunity.  Instead of thinking ‘I failed’, I now ask myself ‘how can I prevent this from occurring again?’

Creating My E-Portfolio: Maintaining a Professional Image Online

As a part of my internship unit at the University of Canberra, this E-Portfolio is considered a necessary component to prepare for the workforce. I decided to do some research on what makes a good E-Portfolio so I was aware of what to include, and what could potentially jeopardise me from being employed. With so many social media platforms I am very cautious of my online footprint. I think it is important to strive for a professional online identity so that it reflects both myself and future employers in a positive light.

 

vintage-social-networking-685x548Here are some tips I researched that I thought were useful from a blog on Emerging Ed Tech. I will aim to incorporate these ideas into the creation of my E-Portfolio:

  • Think hard about the organization, appearance and general layout of your ePortfolio. Create separate sections for topics such as education, experience, references and contact information.
  • Be sure all relevant documents are uploaded to their corresponding sections of the ePortfolio. You want to make the process as easy as possible for the person viewing them—of course, easy doesn’t have to mean boring.
  • Avoid bright colors and stick to the more traditional business formatting and fonts (may not be valid for those interested in design schools, etc. Use your judgment).
  • Try using WordPress. Take advantage of the themes this platform offers by connecting one with your personality and professional aspirations. For example, don’t use a free-flowing artsy theme if you’re going into corporate business law, and vice-versa.
  • Use meaningful pictures to bring some life to your ePortfolio. While the majority of people will have content-based ePortfolios (excluding professions like photographers, artists, etc.), it’s important to remember that a picture is worth a thousand words. Be sure they are well-cropped, in good taste and are connected to the most important points you’re trying to get across.
  • Write good content and keep it up-to-date. Spell check and grammar check and have a friend do the same.
  • Connect your ePortfolio with social media sites so people can find you more easily. Of course, you’ll want to make sure everything on your profiles are work-appropriate.

Source: Hartman, E., 2013, Emerging Ed Tech, ‘Are ePortfolios Still Relevant for Today’s Students?’, viewed 07 June 2013.