How the usually professionally detached Linked In is “warming up”
Are you on Linked in? How are you finding the experience?
I must confess when I started to use Linked In to connect with my creative colleagues from my media days – I had trouble recognising my colleagues.
(More adventurous media days)
The names were familiar – but most of my colleagues looked and sounded (in the profile descriptions) so different
Most looked and sounded more professional yet… colourless and bland.
They seemed to be “not themselves” but trying to look all serious and corporate.
Now I understand that Linked In is a serious and professional and useful platform. It’s not designed for fun or to be expressive. It’s your professional resume on-line and Linked In contains a wealth of valuable professional information.
What I am noticing ‘though is a shift in style – a loosening up – a slow thawing of the cool professional detachment and bits of colour emerging. I stress – the change is very slow.
Maybe – it’s mainly happening in certain sectors – such as the communication industries I work with.
I am seeing people “breaking the rules” of professional resume writing – especially younger professionals expressing themselves. Maybe they don’t KNOW the rules. Maybe they don’t CARE FOR the old rules!
As a word nerd and social media enthusiast, one of the things I’m doing a lot these days is helping professionals tweak their words on various social media platforms to stand out and connect with their desired audience.
So these days I analyse Linked In to study how people express themselves.
Word Nerd stuff like: active voice, more current verb tenses, bold and expressive punctuation, revealing passions, the first words they choose in their identity etc.
This morning I saw a younger professional whose style really stood out.
His writing impressed me – the way he dared to:
1. use exclamation marks!
2. quote a life lesson from his mother in his summary
3. Use the word LOVE – as in showing passion for his job.
My reaction was: “Good on you. You’re not afraid to express yourself and show your enthusiasm. Seems to be solid, appreciative, hard working…seems to have good old-school family values, appreciates his mum – probably a “people person” with a respect for authority”
Maybe I read too much into it – but you see what I mean? – how he communicates so much more than the usual and “safe” : experienced communication professional.
Please note: I’m an experienced corporate communication professional – who comes from a media and creative and expressive background – so this is my perspective. I like expressive and enthusiastic “talent”. Yet I like reliability and solid grounding too.
I acknowledge that many if not the majority of professionals on Linked In would probably react differently to the way I did to such unconventional expressiveness on Linked In.
They would probably shake their heads in disapproval and want to “keep things professional”.
I understand and accept the safe and conservative approach – I just thought his style was bold and fresh.
I predict the tone of Linked In will change as more of the younger generation “moves in” to the space.
I predict Linked in will still remain professional – yet have more colourful flourishes of individual colour – especially in the more creative industries.
Think of a professional office building getting more colourful expression in the cubicles – especially from those colourful and exuberant young people who like to break the rules.
What do you think?
Are you noticing any changes in the Linked In style?
Is there already or will there be a more modern, more colourful alternative to Linked In?
If you are interested in effective profile writing for twitter – he’s my analysis of a Canadian legal marketing and social media expert I regularly “study” and learn from. His profile is so effective – especially with the profile character limit.
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