Having already had a LinkedIn profile for over twelve months, I am already somewhat aware of the importance of having a strong online presence. I was rooted from my previous job through the means of a recruitment company who contacted me via LinkedIn.
Recruiters are now thinking strategically: if they placed a person and won their fee for a job role, chances are they’ll go back to the same pond they caught their first fish from. When I was first approached by Glen Recruitment on LinkedIn, my self indulgent wave of flattery lasted all of five seconds until I pieced the puzzle together and realised that the person who was leaving their job at the recruitment company’s client had also worked in my current job. It’s hard to convey that without sounding convoluted but basically I followed in Alex’s shoes for two jobs. I was the lazy choice for the recruitment company to choose, the formula had worked for them before. When I see him now we joke about how I wear his shoes.
As I already have a LinkedIn profile, I thought I’d give About.me a spin too. I liked the aesthetic quality of about.me which allows you to choose your “colour palette” and gives you a lot more freedom with the page layout etc. It seems like a more visual equivalent to LinkedIn which I suppose is great for artists and photographers but I’m not sure it’s an integral aspect to showcasing your skills as a librarian.
One nifty little trick I’ve picked up through exploring “Thing 3” is adding links to your LinkedIn / about.me pages on your email signature; I do think this makes you look more professional but also my Dad always used to say to me; if you want people to do things for you, you have to make it easy for them. If you’re applying for a job; having this link on your email makes it so easy for the recruiter to have a quick click through where they’ll get to see your skills and experience listed in a presentable, sleek, easy to read format. Win win!
One of the issues that have arisen out of this for me is that I’m not quite sure where to draw the line between my “Professional” social media and my “personal”. My Facebook account, for instance is very much a social tool for me, I use it to stay in touch with friends and family and I would never actively utilise this account in a professional context; that’s what I have Twitter and LinkedIn for. But then there are other apps, like Pinterest where there is a mixture of personal and professional content. I use it for my own curation though and whilst there is nothing on there that I would be unhappy for anyone to see, I also don’t think it shows me in the most professional light. Though we all use these sites for generally similar purposes I think it’s fair to say that we adopt the resources of these tools and applications and hone them for our subtly different purposes which are unique. Somewhere we must find the right balance that works for us depending on what we gain from using each tool. We should also remind ourselves, however that we should be proud of our personalities; I’ve observed that librarians are generally a very creative and artistic set of people and we should incorporate this into our professional brand and use it to our advantage – it’s our unique selling point!
You can check out my profiles here or alternatively you can laugh at my face! Enjoy.
Appropriate Profile Picture
Inappropriate Profile Picture!