I’ve just completed my first year with LexBlog. Ever rolling with the new tasks and constant changes, my job has become an amalgam of data science, secondary research, publishing, wordpress quality assurance, and just plain knowledge guy. In this last year, I’ve learned a great deal about establishing a social media presence from many fellow LexBloggers. While evaluating my social media presence and career goals, I started to think about all the different profiles of various colleagues, clients, and influencers that I’ve seen lately.
Some of the profiles on LinkedIn are impressive, really impressive. The list of skills and abilities go on and on like an overburdened grocery list. However, while I was trying to figure out what a person’s profile was trying to tell me of their career (their ethos), I noticed I had quite a few concerns with incomplete areas.
Image – Blank profile images are an indicator of fake profiles or poorly managed ones. Like mowing your yard, you want outsiders to think you have it together. Regardless of what’s going on inside your home, just the initial appearance is enough for some to avoid connecting.
Endorsements / Recommendations – I can’t say I know what looks better between giving more recommendations or receiving more. I know that people are lazy and don’t want to write something seemingly trivial, but giving kudos is always a good way to show appreciation. Granted, there’s always having terrible recommendations. I had a former employee (let go due to misconduct) put me down as a reference without asking me. Every time I received a call from a potential employer I said, “Yup, he worked here and that’s all I can say”. Any more questions were, “Sorry, all I can tell you is he worked here”. Lucky enough for me those calls didn’t last too long.
Work Experience – I’ve come across some attorney profiles lately that have nothing on their past jobs. Sure, 20 years at a major firm as partner is cool, but what was your daily like? What did you do besides hold a title? 20 years of doing a job is not the same as 20 years of doing a job well. I use this info when I’m determining the validity of a blog. Many blogs give out advice (like this one) and I want to know that they arn’t feeding me BS (like this one). Try to say just a few things and make it easier for us to see that you know your stuff. Don’t get me started on Business owners with a LinkedIn, but doesn’t have a company page.
Finer Bits – Your courses, licenses, seminars, certifications, and so forth are the real bread an butter. While most academics don’t seem to have a well fleshed out LinkedIn, I’m always curious to see who has taught what. As a person who is considering a PhD, I’m going to scour the internet to find all the info on potential mentors. 5 years is a long time to spend with someone that I don’t know anything about. I might as well have an educated guess first. I get that guess by looking at university profiles, LinkedIn, twitter, and the occasional professional journal. This is equivalent to putting your name on your test in High School. “If you don’t have your name on your test, you will receive a Zero”, as my trigonometry instructor used to say.
What I’m really trying to say is that you have to build yourself up from time to time. It gets you feeling good about yourself and helps others to get to know you better. Every few months I try to catch-up with my about page, my LinkedIn, and other social media accounts. I want people to think I’m an expert. I hope that I’m building that rhetorical repertoire for myself. I would also like to see others do the same.
As always, thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my thoughts. I hope that you have found something to add to your everyday rhetoric repertoire.