A lack of personality in your LinkedIn profile may be preventing you from taking your networking to the next level.
By now, it’s well known that each social network has its own place in our lives. Its own type of content, its ‘typical’ audience and its expectations around what you’ll see.
Twitter is a place you can interact with different people every day around different topics. Facebook allows you to stay connected to friends and family that you may not be able to see every day or even for several years; it’s more personal. LinkedIn on the other hand is professional. It’s where you go to network when looking for a new job or where you go to ask questions of someone in your field.
LinkedIn has always been seen as a pretty conservative place, as it should be. But even in a virtual world, networking can still be challenging and intimidating for some people.
Building relationships, both personal and professionally, is easier to do when you share some things in common with someone else or can talk at length about certain topics.
A couple of weeks ago I tried to add a more personal touch to my LinkedIn profile. I added some information at the bottom of my summary around things I like to do in my spare time and the fact that I’ve been a Seahawks season ticket holder for a decade. Just some fun personal facts that can incite conversation and help in establishing and building professional relationships.
Despite doing this, I haven’t had too many conversations about these things with people I come across on LinkedIn. My guess is because it’s buried at the bottom of my summary and often missed when people are skimming a profile in about 10 seconds.
Because your image is usually the first thing people see, it’s noticeable and top of mind when people are viewing your profile.
I grew up in Indiana about 80 miles from Cincy and, despite my love for my adopted Seattle teams, my loyalty still belongs to the Reds and Bengals.
Over the past few weeks there have been several people who I have engaged with for professional reasons through LinkedIn that have asked me about my hat and have gone on to tell me that they’re originally from Cincinnati and are Reds fans. The most interesting thing…more women have asked me about it than men.
These types of conversations have helped make my interactions with them more memorable and have also helped me connect with them as a person and not a colleague, prospect or contact. It can also help show your personality to employers that may be looking for people that will fit in with the current team and share similar interests.
The long-winded moral of this story is keep your LinkedIn profile professional, but if you can throw in some personal details about things you’re passionate about in your free time or things you enjoy having a conversation about I would highly recommend it.
I’ve learned over the years that successful business comes from relationships that are built and nurtured over time and it’s usually easier to get those relationships started when there is a common connection between the two of you.
I would love to get your thoughts on this and hear about similar stories you may have.